US BMW i3 Orders Limited to Special “Launch Edition” Package For First Three Months


Launch Edition Comes  Loaded

Launch Edition Comes Loaded

You want one of the first i3’s in the US? You’ll be getting the full leather Tera World interior as seen above and every option available besides the 20″ wheels then. Welcome to the “Launch Edition i3”

Just late last week, BMW i dealers received a bulletin that informed them they can officially begin to process customer orders and place them in the pipeline. Many customers have already left deposits at their local BMW dealerships even though it wasn’t an official order yet, with the hope of being one of the first people to take delivery of this revolutionary vehicle.

A Special "Launch Edition" Kicks Things Off For The BMW i3

A Special “Launch Edition” Kicks Things Off For The BMW i3

However they didn’t have an official order place in the system, that was just to have a place in line reserved for them and to make sure they got one of the few allotted cars their dealer would get for 2014. So now that these reservations can be turned into official orders, everyone must be really happy, right?

Not so fast.

In a move that will most certainly anger many of the enthusiastic people waiting patiently for their i3, BMW informed the dealers that the initial first three months of US i3 production will be restricted to a special “Launch Edition” i3.

*Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Tom’s The Electric BMW i3 Blog.ย  Check it out by clicking here.

The Launch Edition i3 has the top of the line interior Tera World and every option available on the car besides the 20″ Sport Wheels which you can add if you would like. (Options include: Metallic paint, Parking Package, Technology and Drivers Assist Package, DC Quick Charge Option, Heated Seats and the Harman Kardon Premium sound system).

The only choice the customer gets is whether or not they want the range extender, the exterior paint color and if they want the 20″ Sport wheels. So, unless the people waiting in like with deposits are willing to take a fully loaded Launch Edition i3, they will have to wait an additional three months for production of the custom ordered i3’s to begin. The Launch Edition i3 production will run from March to May so custom ordered i3 production will not begin until June.

Optional 20 Inch Wheels Add $1,300 to the Price

Optional 20 Inch Wheels Add $1,300 to the Price

As expected this isn’t sitting well with a lot of folks who have had deposits and reservations for many months now. I’ve had over a dozen people reach out to me today to confirm whether or not this was true after being notified by their dealer. Some thought the dealer was just trying to jack up the price of their car by making them get options they didn’t want and were seeking clarification from me.

I wish I could tell them it wasn’t the truth, but this is how it’s being done.

The unfortunate thing is many people have expiring leases and planned to make due for a few weeks until their i3 came in but now the gap is more like 3 or 4 months and they don’t know what to do. Should they bite the bullet and get an additional ~$4,000 of options they didn’t necessarily want or wait till July for the i3 spec’d the way they ordered?

Here is the cost breakdown of the Launch Edition i3:

Launch Edition BMW i3

Launch Edition BMW i3

  • Base: 141A(BEV): $41,350.00
  • Color: B81: $550.00
  • Tera world: ZTW: $2700.00
  • Parking Package: ZPK: $1000.00
  • Tech+Driving Assist: ZTD: $2500.00
  • Heated Front Seats: 494: $350.00
  • DC Fast Charging: 4U7: $700.00
  • Harman/Kardon: 674: $800.00
  • Destination: $925.00

Total: $50,875

If you want the range extender just add $3,850, so a Launch Edition i3 REx will set you back $54,725.

The only exception to this is ordering process is for the current ActiveE drivers like me. As a “thank you” for participating the the ActiveE trial lease program, BMW is allowing us to order our cars “a la carte” in addition to giving us the heated seats and DC quick charge options for free. BMW is also creating some unique features that only our cars will have like interior, exterior and door sill badging, embroidered front trunk liner and BMW i floor mats. Plus we get priority ordering and the first batch of i3’s that come to the US will include our cars and we should begin receiving them the end of April. BMW is calling our cars the “Electronaut Edition i3″ and these only be purchased by current ActiveE drivers. The ironic thing is, I ordered my i3 REx with the Tera World interior and every option available including the 20” sport wheels. So even though I had the freedom to build my car the way I wanted to that the other early i3 buyers won’t have, I’m still getting the car loaded just like the Launch Edition anyway.

I’m sure this will elicit some interesting comments below.

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39 Comments on "US BMW i3 Orders Limited to Special “Launch Edition” Package For First Three Months"

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so not worth it


Not so much a step up to a 60KW Tesla Model S.


It’s still over 20K more than the BEV i3 and nearly 20k more for the REx. Plus it has a lot of features the Model S doesn’t.


Yeah, Tesla Motors welcomes any displeased BMW customers to buy their pure EV. Buy American!


Well, it is $20K more but you get a much bigger car, nearly 3X the range, better performance, better looking car, etc. But $20K is a big jump and it won’t be as kitted out in the interior.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Plus, Tesla has a modern touchscreen, not the iDrive..

(I hate iDrive..)

Ted Fredrick

That is a lot of money for a car that is maginally better than My Focus FFE. I wanted one of these but with the Focus reduction in Price I can get two Foci? Focusses? for the price of one BMW. Do I really need to pay $1000 for a parralel park assit. I PP my car three times a year. If I have the car for 10 years that is $34 for every time I park.


Don’t move to the UK!
I parallel park my car three times a day, and I don’t drive a lot! ๐Ÿ™


plus, parallel parking (manually) a car that small has got be a breeze. My MS is pretty big and I have no problem slipping it into some pretty tight places.


Ouch! $50K and that is before adding the Rex? Well, I can’t blame them for trying to get as much money as they can from the early adopters.


Eco-rape. ๐Ÿ™


I now dub thee “Chademo killer” ๐Ÿ˜‰


Ha! Hardly! While the CCS is a welcome addition to the northeast, the i3 will never sell in quantities comparable to the Leaf. It will bring options in quick charge ports, but the i3 alone cannot be a chademo killer. For that, you need a wave of CCS-compatible cars (which we may see within the next year).

Also, in order for anyone to “kill” CHAdeMO, it would have to exist first. I’m thrilled that the west coast (and other pockets) have some infrastructure, but there is still absolutely nothing within 200 miles of here.


Haha, while I was joking, I do think that between the i3 and the MiEV, there will be CCS quantities in the northeast that will rival the present Leafs with Chademo in the northeast.

It was more a jab at the fact that all the i3 orders for the first 3 months HAVE to come with CCS.


Is Mitsubishi changing to CCS? This is news to me. The old MiEV used CHAdeMO and even the PHEV outlander uses it.


I mis-spoke, apologies… Not that the MiEV sells any significant amount anyway.

This is the last time I point you to an Easter Egg I left that you were unable to otherwise find! ๐Ÿ˜›


Seriously, way to ruin Easter!


The difference between your specifications and this early fully loaded model, will vary customer to customer. This aritcle makes it seem like an all or nothing approach.

Tom Moloughney

It is all or nothing for the first three months of production. After that you can of course order your i3 a la carte. However if you want one before July, you have to get the loaded Launch Edition.


An unlikely trip down to the Volt, or up to the $Tesla notwithstanding, what about if a 150 mile Leaf shows up, with a 90kw charge rate? Does configuration trump loyalty, then?


I refer to this line: Should they bite the bullet and get an additional ~$4,000 of options they didn,t necessarily want or wait till July for the i3 specโ€™d the way they ordered?
It should read up to an additional ~$4,000, (depending on how many options were originally ordered)etc….

Tom Moloughney

It’s actually up to $8,600 more. That’s how much more the car is than a base i3 if you add all the options that are “standard” on the Launch Edition. I just threw out $4k as an example of a decision that some may make based on them already getting a few options anyway.


Bite your tongue, plug yours ears and buy a cheap Gen I or II Prius. Wait a few months until you can find a BMW dealer that is not gouging.

Toyota to BMW

How is MSRP on a brand new car gouging?!? This is exactly what ALL manufacturers do. I hate to ask what all you folks do and then ask you to do your work at your cost. Profit is not a bad word and it’s part of business.

BMW unlike many manufacturers backs their own cars with a 4 year 50,000 mile warranty…IT ALSO INCLUDES ALL MAINTENANCE. Toyota stops at 2 years 25,000 miles. They ask MSRP for their cars and do their best to get it- trust in the fact that makes sense. Just as the Ford/Chevy buyers that bought in October for a $3,000 discount and by December there was $6,000 off. What was the REAL price? Are you pleased you lost $3,000 in value because a new one costs less than your year old one?It kills me that the automobile industry is the ONLY one where people think they know what you pay/need to know what you pay/have searched KBB )which updates irregularly


Ouch! $1000 for heated front seats and DC fast charging? Those are both included options on the 2014 i-MiEV. Hell, lease an i-MiEV for the 3-4 month gap and you’ll appreciate your i3 more when you get it. ๐Ÿ˜‰


I was looking forward to see and test drive the i3 but it looks like BMW is choosing to gouge the consumer pretty hard. I believe today’s mature consumer is not driven by barnd loyalty as they seem to still think. There are and will be many alternatives to choose from. Who knows, the dealers just might end up with launch editions just sitting on the lot to discount later.

Toyota to BMW
Drive a BMW and understand what the vehicle is-then decide what you think. I read the Disneyland Roller Coaster was excellent. They say swimming is fun too when I read about it. —– I’m certain most would agree reading about anything and crunching numbers/stats sure is fun but if you are thinking a BMW is a Mitsubishi-start looking at awards, accolades, loyalty and begin to ask what multiple returning buyers are doing returning to the brand-that is, if you can’t make it to the dealer to experience it for yourself. My sister hates chocolate ice cream. I love it. You need to experience it for yourself. If we were all meant to drive the same car with no choices or variety a Model T would be all we have. I think a famous leader tiered to build the peoples car-the VW bug comes to mind. Thankfully we have a choice and if Mitsubishi/Toyota/Nissan/Tesla is for you then great. BMW’s aren’t for everyone but save the judgment on the brand and the people UNTIL YOU experience them. I have a Rex and a Bev order one from a Tesla owner and the other from a Gen II Prius owner and this… Read more »

I now expect an apology from all the “boo-hissers” who were angry with me for
reminding them that this is, in fact, a BMW and that service and the price of
entry would be $50,000 and above.

Again – except for uber-fanguys like Tom – who would dish out such cash for
a car that basically does what a Nissan LEAF does?

David Murray

I tend to agree. The Leaf basically has most of the same feature set at half the price. One might argue that the BMW has the REx option, but the Leaf has CHAdeMO and many areas (like DF/W where I live) have a decent infrastructure built out. As such, it kind of evens out. I was briefly considering an i3-Rex to replace my aging Leaf, but when I found out the price, I decided to get a new Leaf instead.

Toyota to BMW
David and James, if it’s about price you may be missing the boat!! Wait!!! Denny’s sells steaks-so does Outback and Ruth Chris…is a steak a steak? Is a Nissan a BMW? I’ll let you ponder that. Some things look great on paper and if it’s basic transportation the Leaf may be the ticket. If you like to drive and enjoy motoring. Handing. Taking a turn at speed. Acceleration. Braking. Balance. It’s the difference between watching an athlete run the track and your 50 pound overweight neighbor Bob do it. Will they both make it, yes. Will one be surefooted while the other sloppy in comparison. Is one sharp vs dull in responsiveness. Until you have really driven a BMW the paper will show it’s more. BECAUSE IT IS MORE!!! Come see and drive and get all the BMW 360 support vs just a car. BMW has thought about entire car ownership and wants it an excellent experience-that is why they has the Electronaut program and why the lucky folks that has a chance to be in a BMW are returning (gladly) for an opportunity to have another BMW. Is it magic? Tricks? Or could it be good enough that people… Read more »
Mark H

Not just Tom but Jay C. I am not dissin the LEAF but no way can you consider it in the same category as the i3. You still are paying a lot for the BMW name but it is a revolutionary EV in many ways.

The truth is, we all have waited for the first EVs in almost every class and paid top price to get it. I really do not consider waiting 90 days that bad. I was considering a Model S and went through all of this. I had never spent anywhere near that kind of cash for transportation before and in the end came to my senses. I still paid list price for one of the first Volts. I even had one dealer refuse to sale for list.

Did you buy or lease Tom? Good to see both Jay and Tom come to the Rex(dark) side.

Tom Moloughney
I’m buying Mark. I drive a lot (around 30k per year) so a lease won’t work for me. I have been spoiled with the unlimited mileage leases with the MINI-E and ActiveE though and I’ve put over 140,000 miles on them in the 4+ years I’ve been in the programs. James: Is it fair to say you aren’t an i3 fanguy? ๐Ÿ˜‰ You don’t need to answer that by the way! I know it’s hard for you to see why people want the i3, but believe me they do. I get emails from my blog nearly every day now asking me if I know of a way to get one of the early ones and they will gladly pay over invoice, etc. I don’t like this Launch Edition stuff at all, but there was manufacturing reasons why it made sense for them to start off making all the cars the same for the first few months as the US spec cars first begin assembly. If anyone wants a base $42K i3 they can certainly still get one, but they have to wait 3 months which I don’t find unreasonable. If your prediction is correct, and nobody wants it we will… Read more »
If the i3 purchase decision is that the car is a sporty little rocket – it’s not. Many ICE compacts at half the price match it’s 0-60 time. And, as I’ve stated before, if you buy an EV for it’s 0-60 time, your priorities are a bit off. Go around flooring it, and there goes your electric range – the primary point of electric cars in the first place. i3 neither looks sporty or handles carving turns or a racetrack anywhere near a 3 series, let alone an M. It’s a head scratcher – $55,000 and change to go 80-90 miles AER. As I’ve repeatedly stated, sure the light seats, the innovative interior, and carbon-coated molded plastic bodywork is interesting and those technologies definitely will come into play making BMW’s ICE CUVs, sedans and coupes comply with present and future mileage regulations. The i cars as a proof-of-concept – just fall flat. All that light weight and a LEAF at nearly half the cost goes about it’s duties – and only falls behind a second or two, 0-60 mph! All without the expensive proprietary bodywork that can only be done at a BMW dealer. And as you’re a big fan… Read more »

Not to be too critical – I’m just saying one has to be A
VERY VERY BIG BMW FAN to spend that much for
something that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

The big 150 Mile LEAF questionnaire was really relevant.
What happens to i3 if Nissan puts out an 150 mile LEAF
for around $30,000? At 150 miles or so – the range anxiety,
anxiety ( lol ) or fear of being afraid of not making the trip,

Today, there is a “doughnut hole” in EVs between the
compliance cars, LEAFs and the base, $70,000 Model S. It
seems if BMW would have hit that target – say 150 miles AER
for $45,000 – it would make sense. But EIGHTY-NINETY miles
AER? They lost me!

I’d save or sacrifice for the Tesla, or wait with my Volt for a
couple years and see if Model E fills in that void.

James, though I’d agree with you that the BMW i3 seems more of a committee-driven design, you write like someone who’s never driven an electric city car. EVen my iMiEV leaves all traffic behind, including sport compact ICEs that can’t match it’s quickness off the line (and lose traction trying). We don’t buy city EVs for 0-60 time, we get em for time across the intersection, and rarely have to worry about range. Your Volt is a muscular cruiser, but it scrapes on even shallow-approach driveways, and with 50% more mass than an i-MiEV, 20% the cargo space, and a 15% wider turning radius, it just can’t compare downtown to the little curb-climber. (Yes, an 8″ curb can be easily scaled by the i-MiEV.) Each car can have a role it’s specialized for, with less of the compromise displayed by mashups like the i3 or the Volt.

Toyota to BMW

Tom, I’m in Phoenix and glad to help with anything I can. You can reach me at

You can check my credentials by Googling ‘Craig Rusin Reviews’-or see We are the top BMW dealership in the state of AZ and I’m the top 3rd reviewed in a years time. Formerly with Toyota I have sold many Prius/Prius Plug In’s, Camry and Highlander Hybrids. I’m into the technology and think it’s fantastic BMW is adding ALL ELECTRIC BEV’s and Rex to their already existing Hybrid 3, 5 and 7 Series. They have many clean diesel models so BMW is doing their part to expand and serve all customers. It is a worldwide brand and the 6th most recognized brand in the world!!

I’m here in So. Cal for BMW i3 training March 17th and 18th so if anyone has questions, clarifications or particulars they need something answered -FIRE AWAY!! Here to help!!!


Sounds like they have to make up for building so many โ€œElectronaut Edition i3โ€ณ cars to individual specs, that they need to make up for that by quickly building a lot of cars identically.

Car builders usually don’t build so many cars to customer specs. They usually build more cars to pre-configured specs to manage their supply-line.

This really is no different than Tesla starting with their Signature Edition cars first, that were also loaded and had very few options left to choose from.

As far as outrages go, this one scores a 1 out of 10. It really only impacts just the few people who cannot extend their current leases on their leased cars.


How sad that so few are aware of the environmental and ethical damage which results from ordering the leather interior.

Really–you, and BMW, should know better. The fact that BMW is selling the i3, let alone their other cars, with parts from murdered animals is a disgrace and an insult to intelligent, well-informed people everywhere.

Please reconsider your choice and go with the NON-leather (aka, “hairless fur”) interior on your i3.

You have a wide audience; please help inform them by being informed yourself.

Thank you.


I ordered my BMW I3 a month ago. I have every option except the $800 stereo system. My car is factory confirmed as being built the 13th week of 2014 which is The end of March with delivery beginning if June. According to my dealer it is only the Mega trim that is being built but the options do not matter to the build time. I am in Arizona.