As the first customers take delivery of their new BMW i3 electric cars, it's time for the pre-launch hype to disappear and let sales do the talking.
The hype isn't hard to understand though--BMW is far outside its comfort zone with the i3, yet has come out with a product that looks, and is constructed like nothing else.
Those wishing to construct their i3s a little further can do so using BMW's new configurator for the car.
Most are quite familiar with car configurators by now, but it gives us a good look at the i3's various options and unsual 'World'-based trim lines--giving the i3 a very different feel depending on which model you select.
Buyers can choose between the entry-level 'Mega World', 'Giga World' for an extra $1,700, or 'Tera World' for an extra $2,700.
Each offers a different design of 19-inch alloy wheels to differentiate it visually, but most changes are apparent inside the car--Giga adds the much-vaunted sustainable Eucalyptus trim panels, for example, and unique cotton and leather seats over the Mega's recycled material-based cloth.
From there, potential buyers can choose colors, interior details and equipment packages, including a parking assistant package, navigation and more.
Buyers also have the option of upgrading to 20-inch alloy wheels, a Harman/Kardon premium sound system and perhaps most usefully, a $700 DC fast-charging package.
i3 pricing starts at $42,825, including a mandatory $925 destination and handling charge. With a twin-cylinder range extender, that price climbs to $46,675. Neither price includes federal or local tax rebates or incentives.
BMW has also released a video of several drivers getting their first taste of i3 motoring.
If you remember your first time driving an electric car, you'll probably remember your amazement at the car's silence, and the unique feel of instant torque from the electric motor.
It's clear that most drivers in the video are equally impressed, and as ever, it brings us back to our assertion that getting "butts in seats" is the best way of spurring electric car sales growth.
Of course, putting a BMW badge on the nose is also a pretty good way of getting people interested in your cars...