2014 BMW i3 Electric Car Unveiling On July 29: Video

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The 2014 BMW i3 electric car is coming... but you knew that already.

Still, it gives BMW a chance to release another video, albeit one that tells us absolutely nothing save for the car's official date of unveiling: July 29th.

Luckily, previous videos, plenty of spy shots and numerous auto show appearances by i3 concepts means we've built up quite a knowledge base on the i3 already, so a video of depressingly beautiful people jumping up and down in a fashion shoot isn't all we have to go on.

What we know is that the i3 is the first official mass-production electric car by BMW, using knowledge gleaned from the MINI E and BMW ActiveE field tests.

It's roughly subcompact-sized and uses a rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels, keeping one of BMW's traditions alive. The rest of the car is very different from anything we've seen of the Bavarian automaker before, a deliberate move as the i3 also launches BMW's i sub-brand.

The styling is squat, upright and expected to be fairly futuristic. We've not seen the full production car yet--that's what this video is all about--but it's unlikely to differ too greatly from BMW's previous i3 and i3 Coupe concepts.

Inside, the i3 will be fairly minimalist, and should be one of the greatest departures yet by an electric car from the more traditional layouts found in many existing electric vehicles. BMW is playing up its use of sustainable materials, simple design and high technology.

With a quoted 0-60 mph time of 7.6 seconds it'll be among the quicker electric vehicles when it goes on sale, though its 70-100 mile expected range is par for the course.

BMW will also offer a range-extended version though, its twin-cylinder motorycle-derived gasoline engine doubling the car's range--albeit with a lower power output in range-extending mode. For longer trips still, BMW is offering a gasoline-powered loaner vehicle whenever the i3 owner requests.

Pricing should be similar to that of a "well-equipped 3-Series", so we're throwing our eggs in the $42,000-$46,000 basket.

Will BMW spring any more surprises on us when the car appears on July 29th? We'll just have to wait and see.


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Comments (10)
  1. I can't wait to see it.

  2. Hmmm, I can't wait to diss it.

  3. If you really think the i3 is "unlikely to differ too greatly from BMW's previous i3 and i3 Coupe concepts" you are in for a real disappointment. The use of glass in the concept car doors and rear hatch cannot be placed into production. That will significantly change the look of the car.

    In my opinion, the actual i3 will look more like a Euro economy car. There will be very little style, or even performance look to the vehicle. Hopefully, I will be wrong. But don't trust my twisted viewpoint, look at the spy shots for yourself:


  4. Or see a YouTube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSi1C-E3WHc

  5. The production car looks almost exactly like the i3 Concept Coupe. BMW has filed patent photos that show this.

  6. Douglas - As CDspeed points out below (or above, wherever this comment is dropped), patent photos show what the car will look like. As do the very spy shots you posted (and we've posted, in the past), and the car's similarity to the concepts is plain to see.

    As for the concept cars' glass, I was assuming our readers are smart enough to realize that some of the more overt concept touches wouldn't make production. And since BMW has already stated performance figures (which are more than reasonable for a subcompact), I'm not at all sure where you're getting your "little performance" ideas from.

  7. You take the glass away and all you have is an economy car with some weird sculpting where the glass used to be. Take a look at the patent and you will see where the glass panels were. The production vehicle won't look anything like the concept car. I stand behind my original post.

  8. Here are the very latest spy shots, showing the lack of lower door glass, from our sister site Motor Authority:


  9. It will be interesting to see how well it competes against other EV's such as the Tesla Model S or Nissan Leaf. I am interested in it's range anyone know or is it about 75 miles like all other automaker produced EV's. The styling is somewhat interesting but I doubt that the glass cabin of the car will be that open and airy looking. the zero to 60 is ok at 7.5 seconds so it should be able to keep up with traffic. I been looking at some other information out on the car on the internet and I am hearing a driving range of about 90 miles and 7.2 to 7.5 second zero to 60 acceleration is what I come up with. Lets see if BMW can do better on driving range than just 90 miles.

  10. 7.5 seconds does more than "keep up with traffic", I think. It's good in and of itself. It's even better compared to an ICE car, whose advertised 0-60 is a) difficult to achieve skill-wise, and b) attracts the attention of the whole neighborhood (and the cops) when attempted.

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