BMW i3 Production Version Unveiled A Touch Early

JUL 23 2013 BY JAY COLE 46

First Look At The BMW i3 In Its Full Production Glory

First Look At The BMW i3 In Its Full Production Glory (via Autoblog.NL)

BMW i3 Interior Shot (via

BMW i3 Interior Shot (via

While the BMW i3 is not unofficially unveiled until July 29th, it looks like some old-fashioned paper media somewhere jumped the gun and published out some pictures ahead of time.

Then was there to pick up on the snafu, and took some scans of those images.

Now we are here, passing those images along to you.

Isn’t the Internet great?   Enjoy!!

The BMW i3 was just recently priced at $41,350 in the US, and £25,680 (after incentive) in the UK.  No pricing has been released on the cost of the range extended (outside the Netherlands), but it is now expected to retail for around $4,000 USD.

BMW i3 Production Gallery (double click):

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46 Comments on "BMW i3 Production Version Unveiled A Touch Early"

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Ah great, you already saw it. Luv the interwebs:-)

Hehe, I just saw your tip after we hit publish Robster!

Appreciate you looking out, I guess our “EV-nerd” division that scours the Internet to make me look smarter/quicker than I really am was on high-alert today, (=

Ay who are you calling a nerd:-)

Shit this is a night and day difference. I hated the previous pics and a really like these.
I’m interested in this car again.

I see no difference.

Looks like porky pig from the front. What were they thinking !?

It has a frunk! 🙂

not much of one though.

Agreed. A nice, convenient place to put your EVSE. Mine is in its plastic bag in the “trunk” of my i-MiEV in case I need to 120V charge somewhere.

This also highlights why the front end of this car is relatively long, especially compared to my rear-motor/rear-wheel drive i-MiEV. Aesthetics. People just don’t like the super short nose of the i-MiEV, so they gave the i3 a little bigger proboscis.

Otherwise, those two EVs share many attributes. The BMW is just more expensive and more refined. I like it, except for the weird belt line change at the rear-passenger windows.

Since it’s a German car, this frunk should exactly fit a standard German Beer Crate like this one:

wow they really did a good job with the camo. The rear end of the car looks sooo much nicer now.

I do not care for the way the screens are attached. They look like an afterthought or an aftermarket add-on.

Remember the Bob Lutz comments in “Revenge of the Electric Car” concerning the same placement of the screens in the Volt interior prototypes?

1. Someone will think they are removable and will break them while trying to remove them.
2. The space behind will collect too much cigar ash 🙂

I agree. It wrecks the entire flow of the dash. BMW, designed by Tom-Tom.

It looks a bit like an iMIEV with that front bulgy bumper and skinny tires from the back. Based on the steering wheel and center console proportions it looks like it will be a small car.

It will be great if BMW gets exposure to this car by massively offering test drives.

Okay, I’ll just come out and say it.

This car is unbelievably ugly.

From the three-tone black + vomit + dancing hamsters hip-hop 18-year-old blue, to the oh-so-useless broken window line, to the rear door that looks like its spitting its bumper out at you like a VCS video tape, to the ultranarrow suicide doors designed to make it impossible to get into the back seats, to the dash that looks like they duct-taped two ipads to an ikea desk. This is one hell of an obscene grotesque.

And I thought Bangle-designed BMW cars were bad.

So we have a name for it then. Presenting the first all new EV from BMW, the Hunchback of München:


The novel offers a lesson to never judge someone by their appearance. It may turn out to be quite good!

Here’s another side shot with the doors wider open (concept):

It looks like you can’t open the rear doors without opening the front door?

I really don’t like the black treatment on the rear of the car. I didn’t like it on the Volt and I don’t like it here. The Volt is much improved after they made more of it body color on 2012+.

Please give us the option to delete all of that bright blue trim! It looked good as a concept – how many years ago? – but now it just looks like the Tron Legacy edition :-O

I think the car is okay looking out the outside. As mentioned before, I can’t stand the interior design. I also love the idea of the 25Kw range extender motorcycle engine. But the price is going to be too high for me. I was considering this car, but I think when the lease is up on our Leaf, we’ll be buying a second Volt.

Looks like it was designed by a committee of monkeys who couldn’t see, hear or speak to each other. I can’t see any styling feature that will be copied by other car companies, not even Toyota. It will definitely stand out at the mall parking lot which is either a plus or a minus depending on one’s frame of mind.

I don’t know.
It does have a little mini cooper in it…which is good.
With the Camo off the rear end it looks much better.
PLUS it has good interior room.

However if you compare it to the Tesla it has huge amounts of wasted VOLUME.

Specifically in the rear end where the motor/ geearbox / inverter is.
Then take into account the wasted VOLUME if you don’t get the RE.
The RE area is wasted volume.

Now go to the front.
What could be a decent frunk is filled with heat exchangers.

When you get right down to it. It is hard to beat the packaging of a pure EV.

It had to happen…they made the Pontiac Aztec look good by comparison

The view from the front makes the car look really narrow. With only one windshield wiper…it must be. Guess the cabin will be narrow and not very roomy.

Eh…I see what appears to be the second windshield wiper…it was hidden. Still looks very narrow from the front view to me. Will need to see in person.

I like the design of the Mini Cooper.
I like the design of the ActiveE.

And when they finally give us a real electric car they give us this weird looking thing. Jeez.

Are you trying to sabotage your EVs, BMW?

It looks like a rendering engine rendered images two different cars in the same spot.

According to most reactions people expect a revolutionary car to look like a car that’s already been around for 100 years. I like the fact that it’s a bit odd looking. Also Tesla said that the Bluestar Gen 3) will look more revolutionar than the Model S.

History shows in general that the human race is very Inert (not willing to change unless you really have to).

Wow, is that front end ugly.

I wonder how much of the “weirdness” of the appearance was driven by aerodynamic and other functional concerns, just like the frog-eye headlights in the Leaf.

Otherwise, it’s very surprising that BMW (of all automakers) would put out such an ugly duckling of a car.

Oh well. Pretty disappointing appearance-wise. But I’m still interested to see how the EPA range and fuel efficiency numbers turn out.

We keep on waiting for the Rex pictures, all the difference of this car, which in other aspect is quiet similar to a Mitsubishi i-miev, but clears the way for a first true full size BMW i5 with a similar system.

Another major question that remains unanswered is the ability of the Rex as a Flex-Fuel or not. It would be a shame to use a Rex that can’t run on E85 when even many old conventional cars can.
Green electricity EV + green fuel Rex is the way to pragmatically go to zero emission of fossil carbon dioxide.

Burning food and forests is much worse than using fossil fuels.

Not for the pragmatic climate. The green house effect only follows the total amount of extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Since bio carbon dioxide cycles around, it is only fossil carbon dioxide that counts.

By the way, modern view of biofuel means second generation based on waste materials non food crops and soundly harvested wood.

Since these biofuels would be used in Rex systems, it would mean much less volume then the present fossil gasoline consumption since most energy would be electricity.

For now i think it just looks weird, now if it’s “cool weird” like the Nissan Juke or “weird weird” like the Pontiac Aztek, i’ll have to wait and see it in the flesh.

But kudos for BMW for taking a chance on the i3 design.

While watching the last official pics with the small camo-strip, I always wondered what kind of special design was hidden underneath them… I can’t find it now. Looks like there is just more regular colored body, maybe in a strange angle. Or am I missing something?

The dash display, it appears, will completely wash out in sunlight.

Not necessarily. It depends on the type of display used. Some LCD displays are blacklit only and if they get light shining on the front, they wash out completely. Other types are front-lit only (like 1980’s style LCD panels, or wrist watches) and the more light the better. There are a few types of panels that work decently well either way. Hopefully they used such a panel. I guess we’ll have to wait to find out, though.

I’m really surprised at how tall and boxy this car is as compared to other BMW offerings, even their previous EV offerings like the MiniE and ActiveE had much more eye appeal. I wonder:

1.- Is an EV purpose-designed vehicle easier to make in this shape (form follows function)?
2.- Is BMW trying to “show” that EVs have to look dumb if not a Tesla (to sell more gas cars or a better more profitable design in the future)?

As an iMiev owner I find the i# style better than the iMiev, and I do actually like it. But I’d have to pay 2 to 3 times for the i3, and it just doesn’t look that much better (sounds like a really vain comment – I know). So, I’d guess that traditional BMW customers who might also (subconsciously or not) wish to have the status (or appearance of wealth) that a BMW vehicle might convey, aren’t going to find this vehicle appealing.

I wonder what Tom Moloughney’s take on the styling is … Tom, are you out there?

Yes I’m here! Do I love the exterior styling? No. Do I think it’s a case of form following function? Yes. That being said I definitely don’t hate it and I really like the interior a LOT. Plus, to me it’s one of those cars that look better in person. I know that sounds strange, but there definitely cars like that. When the Honda CRX first cane out I was intrigued by it but thought it looked ugly in pictures. I went to a dealer to check it out and bought one. I don’t know why but the short stubby proportions seem worse in pictures, perhaps it’s the depth perception you don’t get like you do in person, I really don’t know. I’ve been up close to many i3’s and I definitely like it much better looking at it live. I’m much more concerned with how it drives and what the real world range is anyway. There have been a wide range of first impressions so far. Motor Trend said it’s “A Brilliant EV That Needs a Bit More BMW in it” which doesn’t sound too good, but others like Edmunds, Road & Track and of all outlets, Top Gear… Read more »

Have you used the suicide doors on the production i3? They look much tighter in production than they did in concept. I am wondering how the egress is into the back row.

I think you’ll find getting in and out of the back seat very easy. If the rear suicide door was as long as it was in the concept, you’d have trouble opening it wide enough to get out if you were in a parking lot with a car next to you.

I don’t know, going from the sporty look of what you are driving now to this…whatever it is…. your love life might take a hit.

Ridiculous drama. The design has been revealed long ago on their website except for the suicide door which we’ve seen elsewhere.
It’s a bit ugly, it’s expensive, it’s slow, it’s uninspiring. just get it on the road so we can get to the next step of this incompetently slow development.

BMW had to do something funky to make it NOT look like a Scion or Hamster Mobile…

How do say ‘Edsel’ in German?