Speaking with TMR this week, BMW Australia’s Lenore Fletcher confirmed that the i3’s popularity overseas has strained production capacity, pushing its Australian launch out to later this year.
“Good news for BMW globally, of course, but certainly we would have liked it here sooner,” Ms Fletcher said.
The i3, which will be offered in both all-electric and petrol-electric range-extended forms, made its first Australian appearance late last year for local testing and special promotional duties.
The performance-focused i8 will also make its way to Australia, and Ms Fletcher told TMR that a late 2014 debut for a handful of demo models is still expected.
Timing for a proper sales debut for the i8 is still to be confirmed however, and it appears likely that similar supply-and-demand constraints will apply to the sleek coupe here also.
The i8 is priced at AU$151,298 in Europe, suggesting we could see the hybrid coupe come closer to $250,000 in Australia - and that’s Audi R8 territory.
Still, offering the chance to get involved with the next generation of performance motoring - the tightly integrated combination of petrol and electric power - means the i8 is unlikely to have a hard time finding friends.
About the i8
Partnering a petrol engine with an electric motor, the plug-in hybrid i8 coupe offers 266kW and 570Nm of torque.
With a relatively light kerb weight of 1490kg, BMW says the i8's powertrain will sprint to 100km/h in "less than" 4.5 seconds.
With those sorts of figures, BMW will be looking to pinch buyers from Porsche's 911 Carrera 4S, which offers all-wheel-drive and a 4.3 second sprint to 100km/h.