BMW i3 Electric Vehicle Concept Revealed

Mike Stevens | Jul 29, 2011

BMW has revealed the first of its all-new alternative-energy i cars ahead of September's Frankfurt Motor Show, the i3 concept.

Set to make its market debut sometime in 2012, the i3 shown here is described as a concept, although, much like the 'M5 Concept', the i3's styling and technology is not expected to change a great deal before heading into production.

The i3 is built on what BMW calls a 'LifeDrive' architecture - the cabin and its occupants form the Life component, while the Drive elements are made up of the powertrain, the battery, the body and suspension.

Built purely as a 'city car', the i3 measures 3845mm long, 1537mm tall and 2011mm wide, riding on a 2570mm wheelbase. Weighing in at a relatively light 1250kg, the i3 offers seating for four. The EV's body is built from a combination of aluminium and carbon fibre-reinforced plastics.

bmw i3 i8 concepts 02

Power for the i3 is provided by an electric motor mounted above the rear axle, powering the rear axles (keeping the rear-wheel-drive BMW tradition alive). Energy is drawn from a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack that runs the length of the undercarriage.

Power for the i3's electric drivetrain is listed at 125kW and 250Nm of torque, with power transferred through a single-speed transmission. BMW promises a 0-60km/h time of 3.9 seconds and a 0-100km/h run of 7.9 seconds - quite spritely for a city car.

Electric vehicles live or die by their driving range however, and BMW says i3 owners - likely to be primarily urban dwellers - can expect to get between 130 to 160km from one charge.

A full charge on a standard home outlet will take around six hours, while an optional high-speed charger means an 80 percent charge can be achieved in one hour.

In the future, the i3 will also be offered with a range-extending 'REx' internal combustion engine, but details for that option have yet to be revealed.

TMR will be reporting on the i3 in greater detail over the weekend - watch this space.

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Filed under: Featured, hybrid, BMW, Green, electric vehicle, EV, concept, frankfurt, frankfurt motor show, electric, News, Germany, prestige, bmw i, bmw i3, bmw i8, 2011 frankfurt motor show, fms, 2011 fms, i3, i8, 2013 bmw i8, bmw edrive, edrive

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