BMW i3 Coupe
While we first encountered
BMW's i3 electric at last year's LA show, the big news is how the updated Coupe concept shows closer-to-production looks. Gone are the full-glass doors. Instead more realistic features have appeared. The EV, planned for 2013, has still retained many of the initial design features like the exposed kidney grille, similar to the new 3-Series
. The interior still has a very open and expansive feel. BMW is doing a lot with the little car.
The "i" sub-brand is a big deal for BMW, as it is an entirely new direction for the luxury-performance German automaker. Instead of focusing solely on the 'Ultimate Drive Machine,' BMW is now setting its sights on the ultimate efficiency machine, with electrics and plug-in gas hybrids. The new i3 will be outrageously efficient, with an all carbon fiber mono cell, the car will benefit from an extremely low weight.
But, we're assured the i-vehicles will still drive like BMWs. A 170 hp electric motor tied to a lithium-ion battery powers the rear wheels, in true Bimmer fashion. But customers will likely go easy on the throttle, in hopes of hitting an estimated 100 mile range.
Interestingly, the i3 will be able to be driven mostly with one pedal. BMW's research with the Mini E
shows that EV drivers tend to rely on the single pedal in city traffic, when simply removing their foot from the accelerator results in immediate regenerative braking to slow down the car.
Inside, you'll see that BMW is moving their dash design in a new direction as well. Instead of a massive gauge cluster, a little tablet-like screens pop out of the dash to offer a ton of driving information, without taking up much space. In the photo above, you'll see that BMW's iDrive system has been updated on this concept. If anything, it is telling of what BMW will show when the car comes to the market at the end of 2013. Pricing is estimated to fall in line with the 3-Series ($40,000-50,000).