These are the best pictures yet of the BMW i3, spied testing near the firm’s R&D base in Munich. The electric i3 supermini is scheduled to makes its public debut in production-ready form at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, before going on sale here at the end of 2013.
The i3 test mule seen here is the most complete that we’ve yet seen, and now has production ready head- and tail-lights, and proper doors, rather than the see-through ones seen on the original i3 concept. The skinny tyres and aerodynamic wheels look set to make the leap from concept to reality.
Marketed under the tagline of ‘Born Electric’ the BMW i3, and the forthcoming BMW i8 supercar, are the first models to be offered from BMW’s new ‘i’ sub-brand.
The i3 has been designed as an electric car from the ground up, and will be offered with a 125kW (168bhp) electric motor with batteries giving an all-electric range of around 100 miles.
The firm is also planning to offer the option of a REx petrol-powered range extender engine, giving a range equivalent to a modern supermini
As well as an innovative powertrain, the i3 will be built from a new carbon fibre reinforced composite that’s made in-house at a special plant in Seattle, USA.
Its body has been designed to take advantage of the packaging benefits of an electric powertrain to offer more interior space than a conventional supermini, and a 200-litre boot.
Alongside the four-door i3, BMW hasn’t ruled out building the sportier three-door version of the car it showed as the i3 Coupe Concept at the LA Motor Show at a later date.