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2014 BMW i3 Electric Car Revealed In Leaked Images

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BMW's long-awaited i3 electric car and range-extended electric car aren't officially unveiled until next Monday--but leaked images finally reveal the production car's form.

Unsurprisingly, the pictures of the production i3, spotted by Autocar, show a car that doesn't differ too greatly from the concept version first revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.

Camouflaged prototypes revealed several months ago that the production i3 would lack the concept's largely glass doors, while the ultra-minimalist interior has also been toned down for production.

Even so, the overall look is remarkably similar to that of the original concept, both in terms of general proportions and many of the concept's detailing.

Those details include the two-tone exterior finish, with a black hood and several blue-highlighted details. They also include the tall, narrow wheels and tires and a pronounced kick to the glass on the rear half-doors--a nod to the deep window line of the concept.

The black tailgate has also remained, even if it's no longer made entirely from glass--and the narrow, stylized head and tail-lights are also very similar to those of the concept.

2014 BMW i3: Specifications and details released

Inside, while more conventional than the concept, the i3's interior is still unlike that of any other production BMW.

Parts of the center stack look familiar, but that's as far as it goes--a display screen for the car's main functions seems to float above the heating and ventilation controls, and another display sits behind the large two-spoke steering wheel.

Most unusually, and alluded to in several early prototype drives, is the "pod" behind the steering wheel. This houses the starter button, parking brake and drive selection controls, all a finger-tip away from your hand's natural position on the wheel.

Thanks to the compact electric drivetrain and low, flat battery pack, the i3 also has a completely flat floor inside.

BMW revealed the 2014 i3's pricing earlier this week. When it goes on sale in the second quarter 2014, the i3 will cost $42,275 including BMW's $925 destination fee. The price doesn't include any state or local tax incentives or rebates.

For more leaked photos of the i3, head over to the Autocar website.

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Comments (30)
  1. I think it looks really cool, I can't wait to get mine.
     
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  2. Ah, beauty is truly in the mind of the beholder. I believe this car is destined to make the top ten ugliest in history. The Pontiac Aztec revisited.
     
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  3. Just because it's not to your personal tastes doesn't make it ugly. It looks nothing like an Aztec, if you really want to pass judgement on it at least wait until you've actually seen it. The way I see it is it's a compact BMW hatchback set to compete against other electric cars. It was never intended to go after the Model S.
     
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  4. Ugly to me. That's all that counts in my evaluation.
     
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  5. I've been following the car for a while and I think it's a cool little high tech hatchback. In my experiance there have been cars I didn't like, but actually started to like them after I've seen it in person, I've talked to a lot of people who have gone through the same thing. You have a negative opinion of the car so I'd simply suggest waiting to see it in person before you write it off completely.
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  6. @Douglas. I agree with you it's not as nice looking as I hoped it would be. I was hoping for a sleek muscular looking BMW and the techno look with the suicide half doors opening up for the rear passengers doesn't do a thing for me. Here I though BMW was going to design a nice looking sport 2 door 4 passenger EV and they give us rather weird looking 2 door with suicide rear doors. where the window area drops down to accentuate it even more than it should. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I think BMW did a terrible job on the design and unless it has great performance or range I will hold out until 2016 when Tesla release their Gen III sedan.
     
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  7. You know all the big manufacturers are only doing small hatchbacks, I wish they hadn't gone the Eco box route either but I expected this not a Model S fighter.
     
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  8. That's just, like, your opinion, man...

    Me, I think the Juke is far uglier, let alone the Aztek. I do think it would look better with transparent side panels like the show car had, though.
     
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  9. I really like it too and am surprised at how many people don't like the styling. I guess everyone has their own opinion. I never cared for the shape of the LEAF, but some people love it. The i3 looks way better, in my opinion.
     
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  10. Pretty much what I would say. Not exactly what I would have designed and certainly a little quirky, but I just don't see the Aztek at all here. I detest the looks of the LEAF, but I generally like the i3. Of course seeing a car in person and the interior is always different, so I'll see when it's at dealers.

    For me, it's all academic since I've got my Volt lease until early 2015, anyway. But the i3 is in play, even if I'm leaning toward a Model S.
     
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  11. Looks like it has a "Frunk"
    While not a "beautiful" vehicle, I like it. Somehow I like it more than the LEAF (apologies to LEAF owners).

    Is it just me or is this a man's car more than a chick car.
     
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  12. I'm hoping it's a man's car that helps that man get a chick... But intentionally sexist joking aside, I get what you mean. I hate the looks of the LEAF (sorry, fans, not the vehicle, just the looks) but I lean toward liking this.
     
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  13. "Is it just me or is this a man's car more than a chick car. "

    Depending on the two tone colors that it comes with and/or accessories...
     
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  14. At first glance I didn't like it. Looking at it again and knowing what kind of compromises are required I think it looks ok. Better than the Leaf.
     
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  15. First impressions are everything. Why do you think the Ford Edsel failed?. Nothing like a big horseshoe shaped Grill on the from to ruin a pretty decent looking car. The front end is alright. I do not like how BMW dropped the sill on the rear windows lower than what the front windows are. It looks very strange. I could have seen a muscular yet sleek good looking small sporty hatchback design that blended the rear doors into the body shape better. This is a big disappointment from BMW in the styling department.
     
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  16. I like it, however I expect the US version to have much more bulbous front and rear bumpers (like the camouflaged pic in the Specs article linked above). If it shows up as pictured in this article, the results of those IIHS 5 mph pole and corner tests won't be pretty, especially with that rear end.
     
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  17. That will perfect in my garage next to my Pontiac Aztec!
     
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  18. BMW managed to one-up the Pontiac Aztek. This BMW looks like a homogenization of over-designed show car features all in one vehicle. Hopefully, this paint job is just an option. With the paint job, it looks like sure to make the top ten list of ugliest cars. Without the paint job, it just looks like an Aztek derivative: http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/features/100-ugliest-cars-of-all-time.html
     
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  19. Just because it's not to your personal tastes doesn't make it ugly. It looks nothing like an Aztec, if you really want to pass judgement on it at least wait until you've actually seen it. The way I see it is it's a compact BMW hatchback set to compete against other electric cars. It was never intended to go after the Model S.
     
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  20. Hmm, you've apparently already passed judgment on it without seeing it. "I can't wait to get mine."

    Or is "BMW" all you really need to see?
     
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  21. I've been following the car for a while and I think it's a cool little high tech hatchback. In my experiance there have been cars I didn't like, but actually started to like them after I've seen it in person, I've talked to a lot of people who have gone through the same thing. You have a negative opinion of the car so I'd simply suggest waiting to see it in person before you write it off completely.
     
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  22. I will look at it in a car show but I don't see how it will grow on me. It is very unusual looking to say the least. I like the Chevy spark EV looks way better than this thing. I thought BMW was going to design a sporty 2 door hatchback that seat four. This looks like it is not finished and the body lines are anything but sexy.
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  23. They are supposedly still going to produce the 2 door variant of this car that was shown as the i3 Concept Coupe.
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  24. Personally, I think it looks better than Leaf or i-Miev but worse than Volt, eRav4, C-Max, Fusion, 500e, SparkEV or eFit.

    Tesla Model S is still the prettiest car with a plug.

    I admit that I am biased.
     
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  25. One cool thing about the life cell construction is they can easily release a small sedan variant, similar to the 1 series. That may be popular with those who don't like the looks of the hatch.
     
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  26. @Bret: It's not the hatch back design that bothers me. You have to admit that It looks very strange with the base of the rear windows going well below the level of the front windows. It is sort of homely looking and not at all along the designs of what BMW has done in the past. What were they thinking? Do they want this car to fail?
     
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  27. What the rear window "drop" did was to interrupt the flow of the exterior lines. This is a no-no for visual auto design. Toward the front there is a rather bulbous effect from the lower bumper design directly under a very squinty grill and headlights. This presents a outwardly angry "face" that I think puts-off the viewer.

    The two-color paint job creates a cut-up design that actually highlights the lack of flow of the overall vehicle. And to make matters worse, there appears to be no "BMW" theme other than a hint at a kidney grill (without the grill).
     
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  28. @Mark,

    I'm not a big fan of the dropping rear window either. It looked funky on the coupe and even worse on the sedan. The only thing I can think is they did it to keep the back seat from becoming claustrophobic. In the first concept, the windows were too big and didn't roll down, which was a deal killer. Now, the windows are too small and the front door should be lower, which would make the windows look more symmetrical. I do like the front and back though. Some people hate the hood, but I like it a lot. I also like how space-efficient the car is. I don't like big cars, but I don't like cramped econo-boxes either.
     
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  29. Is it a cool high Tech look or should that be Techno look? I feel BMW could have done it way better. What's up with the level of the rear windows dropping below the front windows?. It certainly is no beauty mark. It looks like an abstract painting like Picasso had designed it instead of BMW. I used to like how most BNW's look but this thing is sort of an odd duck.
     
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  30. I agree with the rest. Why do they all have to make electric vehicles as ugly as possible? If you're driving down the street in one of these it says "I'm a real dork." It doesn't make sense that they would spend so much money and energy making something they don't want people to buy, but that's what they're going to get.
     
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