Late last year, we got a first look at BMW's all-new i3, which is no longer a funky urban electric hatchback but a rather traditional electric sedan.
Based on the 3 Series, the BMW i3 was shown in December by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) as part of the model's homologation process.
Now we get the first official look at the electric sedan, which goes by the full name of BMW i3 eDrive35L. Offered exclusively in China from May 2022, the all-new i3 is built by the BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd joint venture at its plant in Shenyang, Liaoning province.
BMW describes the i3 eDrive35L as the "perfect fit for the particular requirements of Chinese customers." It features an 110-mm (4.3-in) longer wheelbase than a standard 3 Series for a premium rear seat experience—and more room for the battery pack.
Since it's a 3 Series, it's said to offer sporty driving dynamics, long-distance comfort and a wide range of individualization options. Speaking of dynamics, BMW says the suspension system has been fine tuned for Chinese road conditions by the BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. R&D division in Shenyang. The division also adapted some of the car's components to the requirements of the supply chain in China.
Gallery: 2022 BMW i3 eDrive35L electric sedan for China
Power comes from the latest BMW Gen5 eDrive systems, including a high-voltage battery with a capacity of 70.3 kWh (66.1 kWh usable) that powers a rear-mounted electric motor rated at 210 kW (282 hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque. That's good enough for a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint of 6.2 seconds.
The maximum range is 526 km (326 miles) on the CLTC cycle, with an energy consumption of 14.3 kWh/100 km on the same test cycle.
When it comes to charging, the BMW i3 eDrive35L can take up to 95 kW of DC fast charging or 11 kW of AC charging. The charging time from 10 to 80% SoC is 35 minutes, with 10 minutes of DC max charging adding a range of 97 km (60 miles).
Besides the battery-electric powertrain, the i3 eDrive35L also gets the BMW OS8 operating system, high-end connectivity and the Digital Key—all premieres for the 3 Series.
Styling-wise, the i3 eDrive35L appears to preview the facelifted 3 Series, featuring revised headlights and a reshaped bumper, as well as the closed-off grille resembling that of the iX3 SUV.
The BMW i3 eDrive35L is the sixth EV of BMW Group, adding to the existing MINI Cooper SE, BMW i3, i4, iX3, and iX.