Demonstrating the Light Weight of the BMW i3
We were previously led to believe that the BMW i3's lightweight body components were made in-house by the German automaker. However, that turns out to not be the case for the i3's rear liftgate:
Magna Producing Complete, Lightweight Composite Liftgate for German OEM
Magna International Inc. announced that it is leveraging its advanced composites and exteriors systems expertise to produce an innovative, lightweight composite liftgate assembly on the BMW i3.
Magna's collaboratively-designed liftgate achieves the BMW i brand appearance and vehicle mass requirements through the use of a lightweight composite structure which integrates the liftgate's functional systems. Locking and latching systems, rear windshield wiper system, interior trim, exterior painted trim finishes, electrical power and signal distribution, tail-lights, rear window and a unique glass outer panel are all integrated using a fully automated accelerated joining technology. The sleek and stylish module is a completely assembled lightweight closure, ready for installation on the vehicle.
This liftgate is produced at Magna' facility in the Czech Republic. The complete assemblies are then shipped to BMW for production of the i3 in Leipzig, Germany:
"The liftgate assembly is being produced at a Magna facility in the Czech Republic, using advanced manufacturing and bonding processes to ensure a high-quality product scalable for high-volume production. The fully assembled module is transported to BMW Group's Leipzig facility for direct assembly in line."
Visually, the rear liftgate is probably one of the most distinguishing components on the BMW i3, so yes we're surprised to discover that BMW isn't responsible for this part. This leads us to wonder if other exterior body components are produced offsite too.