BMW i3 Reveals (Nearly) All In New Spy Photos Of Production Model Photo:
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TMR Team | Jul, 05 2013 | 3 Comments

Apparently less-than-pleased with the less-than-flattering patent application images that surfaced this week, BMW has stripped back the camouflage on its new i3 test cars.

The upcoming electric and plug-in hybrid city car (it'll be available in both forms) has been spied testing once more - this time with barely a shred of camo.

We can now see that the production model will show off a wider and more sporting look than the patent images suggested, but BMW is still keeping that quirky rear door window under wraps.

We can now see greater detail up front, highlighting a connected headlight-to-grille design that brings the i3 in-line with the new 3 Series, 4 Series and X5 models.

New large-diameter alloy wheels can also be seen, although their slender width highlights the i3's ultra-green focus.

Entering as a small city car, the i3 will draw power from an electric motor and, and while final production details are still to be confirmed, an output of 125kW and 250Nm is listed for the i3 concept.

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, aimed at buyers not yet ready to embrace a full-electric system.

Recent reports have also shed some light on the i3's likely starting price, with BMW US boss Ludwig Willisch pointing to a figure in the ballpark of the larger 3 Series range.

Elsewhere, website Green Car Reports claims that BMW's Dave Buchko suggested a price tag between US$45,000 and US$50,000.

If accurate, these reports suggest the i3 could debut in Australia with a price tag above $70,000 - around the cost of a kitted-out 328i sedan, and well beyond Nissan's larger $40,000 LEAF EV.

The i3 would likely also enter at a price above Holden's range-extended Volt, which is available in Australia at $59,990.

Australian buyers also miss out on the tax credits available in many overseas markets, which - in the US - could drop the i3's price below US$40,000.

Local launch timing for the i3 is still to be confirmed, although a 2014 debut is expected. For now, official pricing plans are unclear.

Watch for the i3 to launch later this year, alongside the speedy i8 hybrid sports coupe.

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