First BMW i Store Opens in London, i3 Concept Gets New Interior

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BMW i3 Concept MkII

BMW i3 Concept MkII

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If you’ve ever visited central London in England and visited its famous Hyde Park, the chances are you’ve also seen one of BMW’s most prestigious showrooms, located along the highly-expensive and exclusive Park Lane.

Now, weeks ahead of the BMW-sponsored 2012 London Olympic games, BMW’s London Park Lane store will become the first i Store in the world.

At the opening of its first i Store, BMW will premier an updated version of BMW’s i3 concept electric car, unveil BMW’s i Pedelec electric bicycle concept, and detail an ownership package designed exclusively for its electric car customers.

Redesigned interior

BMW’s latest press photographs of the i3 electric car show a roomy, airy interior that mixes what BMW calls “a unique mix of renewable raw materials”

While very basic and flat in their appearance, the i3 Concept’s seat covers combine responsibly sourced wool and naturally tanned leather, while bench-derived front seats and lack of floor-mounted transmission, brake levers or center console means that it is possible for a driver or passenger to slide to either side of the car to get out in tight parking spaces.

Meanwhile, the curving, almost symmetrical dash is inlaid with eucalyptus wood which BMW proudly proclaims is sourced from sustainable managed European forests, while information is fed to the driver through a 6.5-inch freestanding instrument cluster and 8.8 inch central information display. 

Now with folding bicycle

Alongside the new interior, BMW has announced its i Pedelec electric bicycle. 

Designed to fold up and fit in the trunk of the i3, the bicycle features three-speed hub gears, disc brakes and an electric motor designed to assist the rider at speeds of up to 16 mph. 

Range, BMW claims, is between 15 and 25 miles on a full charge, while recharging from a household socket is possible in 1.5 hours or 4 hours depending on the power available. 

What is particularly interesting however, is the ability to recharge two of the concept bicycles directly from the BMW i3, offering the ideal mix of transportation for those who want to combine cycling and driving to their daily commute. 

Multiple sales, service

Prior to commencing sales of its 2014 BMW i3 or 2014 BMW i8, BMW has announced it plans to offer multiple sales channels to potential BMW i customers, while its 360˚ Electric package will offer servicing, public charging, home charging and what it calls “guaranteed mobility”. 

For now, BMW has no plans to offer its i range at all BMW dealers. Like its performance specialists for its M-Series sub brand, BMW dealers will have become certified before they can sell any of BMW’s i brand. 

Using a mobile sales team of specially-trained BMW i specialists, BMW hopes to give customers personal, knowledgable sales advice, while an online Internet portal gives an alternative ordering process for those who would rather order online.

Post-sale, BMW hopes its 360˚ Electric package will offer customers a comprehensive and hassle-free way of owning a BMW i3. 

Designed to manage battery replacement, maintenance, charging and breakdowns, the package will come as standard with every BMW i3. It will, BMW says, include temporary hire of gasoline-powered BMWs when customers need them. 


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Comments (7)
  1. Very exciting to see this move toward production.

  2. Maybe even more exiting than you think since rumour has it that BMW is actually considering shelving its plans for this vehicle:

    Unlikely, BMW has invested too much in this as demonstrated once again by this article.

  3. So they've reupholstered the i3's interior, big deal. I want to see the production version. And now I'm interested to see this new bike as well.

  4. Nice job Nikki. I really like the online ordering and the fact that BMW will rent you a gas BMW if you own an i3 and need to take a trip that's out of the cars range. I notice this version is really exactly the same as the original concept, other than the colors of the interior. This is n line with what I've heard, that the production i3 will be very similar to the concept (minus the glass doors and roof of course)

  5. The electric bike combo looks interesting. It would easily allow for charging the i3 and using the bike to complete a commute. Nice!

    I also like the concept of BMW starting a system to provide longer range vehicles "for temporary hire" - this may really tip the balance on easing range anxiety. Based on my Active E driving experience, I only need a long range vehicle 3-4 times a year. With a temp hire program, I would not need a range extender with my new i3!

  6. Exactly Doug, I'm in the same boat as you. I've had the ActiveE for over 5 months now and there were only two times that I needed more range than the car offers. We have another car in the family so I just swapped with my wife for the day, but this option will allow the i3 to be your only car. Great idea. Drive in to the dealer, with your i3 and drive out with a gas BMW. You come back and the i3 is washed, fully charged and waiting for you. Nice

  7. Cool! I am VERY eager to see final production details and prices on both the i3 and i8. I started my "savings program" last year toward replacing both our 2011 Leaf and Volt at the end of those leases in January of 2014 with more "mature technology" alternatives. My "lust" is for the i8, but I suspect my savings budget may not stretch that far, so the i3 to replace the Leaf is a strong possibility and with the range extender option, we might even try to take "European Delivery" to enjoy some play time in the south of Deutschland before getting the car shipped home. Dream on, I say.

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