The BMW i3 is the world’s first premium car designed from the ground up to be powered by an electric drive system. The result is a vehicle that embodies BMW’s commitment to driving pleasure without compromise.
The use of lightweight CFRP for the passenger cell compensates for the extra weight of the battery, while the low, central location of the battery pack enhances the car’s agility thanks to perfectly balanced 50:50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity.
The electric motor generates an output of 170hp, with peak torque of 250Nm on demand instantly. This allows the BMW i3 to sprint from zero to 37mph in a mere 3.7 seconds and zero to 62mph in just 7.2 seconds, while the lithium-ion battery gives a range of 80 –100 miles in everyday driving. This rises by approximately 15 per cent in ECO PRO mode and by the same again in ECO PRO+ mode.
As a point of reference, since 2009 BMW has conducted research on a global scale with the MINI E and BMW Active E programmes. A UK government report found that the average commute was found to be 13.1 miles each way, and the average daily mileage 25 miles.
For customers particularly conscious of ‘range anxiety’, the BMW i3 is available with a range extender engine, powering a generator to maintain the charge of the lithium-ion battery at a constant level while on the move. This is performed by a 650cc two-cylinder four-stroke petrol engine developing 34hp and mounted immediately next to the electric motor above the rear axle. The range extender increases the car’s maximum range in day-to-day driving to around 180 miles on one tank of fuel. The BMW i3 Range Extender costs £28,830** OTR.
Both BMW i3 models include a three-year, unlimited mileage vehicle warranty and an eight-year, 100,000 mile battery warranty. The battery is also included in the price of the car negating a separate lease charge for battery, as is the case for other electric vehicles.
The i3 is available with four different interior worlds: Standard, Loft, Lodge and Suite. These allow customers to change the look and feel of the interior. All worlds feature sustainable materials such as sustainably sourced wood, natural fibres and naturally tanned leather.
The price for the BMW i3 starts at £25,680** and £28,830** for the Range Extender. However, leasing is expected to be favoured by customers and the monthly rates are highly competitive. Starting at £369p/m for a 36 month contract and rising to £480p/m for an i3 Range Extender in Suite, the BMW i3 is a compelling package.
**With £5,000 OLEV Government grant.