BMW Debuts i3 Coupe At Los Angeles Auto Show

5 years ago by Inside EVs Staff 14

BMW i3 Coupe Concept Is The Third i Brand Vehicle To Be Shown

What was originally thought to be the worldwide debut of the all new i4 concept is actually the premiere of the i3 Coupe Concept.

Some Birds Eye Up Their Next Victim

The i3 Coupe Concept is the third model shown in the i brand lineup from BMW, joining the 5-door i3 and the extended range i8 supercar.

The i3 Coupe Concept is basically exactly what it sounds like, a 3 door i3.   However, it is being shown in what we can only class as production trim (goodbye overused see-thru doors), so we expect it may find its way into production very quickly if it is received well.

The i3 Concept Coupe features a body fully made from carbon fiber, and has the same wheelbase as the production i3, although the coupe is a couple inches wider.  BMW’s new “stream flow” design can be seen more clearly in the side window styling and the Coupe’s roof line than that of the 5-door variation.

BMW i3 Coupe Concept Interior

The vehicle’s powertrain features a electric motor located in the back and a single-speed transmission powering the rear wheels. The unit is rated at 125 kW (170 hp) with 184 pound-feet of torque.

Like All Electric Vehicles With 20" Wheels, The Charge Port Has To Be Inconveniently Put At The Back Of The Vehicle

The i3 Coupe has three driving modes, Comfort, Eco Pro and Eco Pro+, to maximize performance and battery range longevity.  BMW says that the vehicle can travel about 100 miles on a full charge; however that might have something to do with BMW’s  “Eco Pro+” setting which maximizes the i3’s speed at 55 miles per hour.  We will call it 100 miles with an asterisk*

On this inside, everything is future tech-chic.  Nothing about the interior is analog, as the dash and center console is made up of a 6.5-inch TFT display and an 8.8-inch center-stack display.

The 5-door i3 goes on sale in the fall of 2013 as a 2014 model and is expected to be offered as both a pure electric vehicle and with an extended range option (ala the Chevrolet Volt) starting at about $45,000.

Up To 100 Miles Of Range In Eco Pro+ Setting

BMW Media

BMW i3 Concept Coupe - Looking Very Production Ready

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14 responses to "BMW Debuts i3 Coupe At Los Angeles Auto Show"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    Tom’s going to love this car.

    So did the InsideEV’s “staff” go to the auto show??

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Still working on replacing our left coast writer so we have someone to attend the show live when it opens Friday. Going to go right down to the wire. Nothing is easy, (=

      1. GeorgeS says:

        Get Jeff. He’s pretty good!!

  2. Nelson says:

    Looks like BMW has its sights on the Tesla Model X market. If they can offer different range variations like Tesla does with their Model S then the real fight for customer $$’s begins.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671

    1. NRGTom says:

      I think more than the Model X will have a fight if they can keep the price around $50,000 for the i3 with extended range option.

      There is nothing out there with anything close to 90 miles of range and an extended range motor option. This is what all the Volt guys want to see from GM, bigger range options and a utility vehicle, and BMW has name value that the Tesla people might value. I think they can pick off a lot of people’s premium customers.

      1. BlindGuy says:

        Sorry, I couldn’t wait any longer. I really do like the design approach that BMW has taken with the I3 w/range extender. However we decided to buy a Volt because of all the current incentives and the fact that it is also primarily driven with a satisfying electric motor. With either vehicle; I think most people would like a bit more room and an actual donut spare instead of goo. Realistically, I think the I3 would have been too expensive for us after all. I do think the I3 has the potential to sell very well if it is marketed as the future of cars JMO.

        1. MMcI says:

          I think I’m having “goo anxiety” to go along with the “range anxiety”. Both things make me feel like I’m driving “without a net” (or maybe more “without a security blanket”).

  3. GeorgeS says:

    ” with a satisfying electric motor”

    Yes it is a very satisfying electric motor…..and MGA is nice too.

  4. Jay,

    I’m about to take off for CA now to go to the Show. BMW set up a special event for ActiveE drivers so we get to go tomorrow before the show opens to see the new concept i3 coupe and also the BMW display. I have other writing obligations, but I’ll definitely do a post for this site also if you would like. I’ll get lots of pictures for sure.

    GeorgeS: It does look cool, but I’m more interested in the 4 door i3 than this coupe. I like the accessibility of the coach doors for rear seat access.

    NRGTom: I really don’t this the i3 and the X have much of a crossover. The i3 is a small hatchback, smaller than a LEAF and the X is a pretty big crossover that seats 7. Also, I believe the i3 pricing will start around $44k and even the least expensive the Model S will be well over 60K, probably close to 70K actually before incentives.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey Tom,

      That would be great if you could do a spot/LA show roundup for us on this if you have a spare moment. Always great to have a first hand account from the floor…and your interactions with BMW of course, (=

      I can’t remember if you have direct site access or not from past articles you have kindly wrote for us. Shoot us off an email if you don’t and I’ll hook you up…or you can send me some info and pics direct.

      insideevs@gmail.com

      Thanks!
      Jay

  5. I meant to say “even the least expensive Model X” not Model S.

    1. Airton says:

      Bon voyage Tom! say hello to our left coast electronauts friends for me.

      1. Tom Moloughney says:

        Thanks Airton. I’m looking forward to talking to the California ActiveE drivers just as much as I am going to the show. I have been communicating with so many of them via email, forums and on Facebook for a year now so it will be cool to talk in person.

  6. Kickincanada says:

    I really like the look of this concept. BMW on the right track.