BMW’s highly anticipated i3 is edging closer and closer to public availability. Quantifiable proof of this is that the German auto maker is giving out the first ever, journalist test rides today in Sweden. First in line to test out the fully electric BMW, with available range extender option, was Autocar and Car magazine (both UK outfits).
The first BMW i3s will be delivered to the public in November of this year (the 16th of November if you want to be precise and mark the date on your calendars).
Reportedly, the standard, fully electric version i3 will cost around €40,000, that is about $52,000 US dollars (and yes, that is at the higher end of previous estimates).
BMW pegs the i3′s all-electric range at 140 miles on the old LA4 US standard, which translates to about 90-95 miles on the US EPA rating system.
“When you push her really hard, you will have to find a charge point after about 80 miles. But when you go with the flow, 100 miles are a realistic target. On the [US urban driving test cycle], the car recorded an even more impressive if somewhat theoretical 140 miles.” – Ulrich Kranz, BMW i project leader said to Car magazine.
What sets the i3 apart from all the other plug-in vehicles currently on sale, is that for roughly an additional €3000 ($4,000USD), customers can add a range extended gas engine. To us, $4,000 to give drivers the confidence to more than double their fully electric range (up to 200 miles) is well worth the added price, and also lets BMW i3 drivers do something other BEV owners never get to do…namely, use their entire battery.
The range extender is a 35 bhp two-cylinder engine borrowed from a one of their motorcycles (C650 GT). This engine, which is mounted under the boot in the rear that acts as a generator for the i3′s 125 kW (170 hp) motor. The fuel tank is approximately 9 liters (2.37 US gallons) in size and is near the front axle. 0 to 60 mph is accomplished in a BMW reported 7.2 seconds.
Other newly released specifications on the BMW i3:
- weight: 1,250 kg (2,750lbs – almost 500lb lighter than a Nissan LEAF)
- currently has a electronically limited top speed in concept form of 93 mph, but will increase to “more than 100 mph” in production
- 125 kw motor – 170 hp, 250 Nm
- Standard (but narrow) 19-inch wheel -155/70s up front and 175/65 in the rear, optional 20″tires will be available
- 37-75mph acceleration in 6.0 seconds, 0-60 mph in 7.2
- 6.5-inch driver display (digital speedometer, the charge and range indicators and eco-meter)
- 8.8-inch center stack screen
For ride impressions, we will leave that to those who actually got to take a trip in the i3 today (while we patiently wait for our own turn).
Check out Car’s full driving report here (test drive photos also via car.uk.com)