BMW could be set to unveil a new, sporty electric car at the upcoming 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Likely to be based on the BMW i3 electric city car, the new BMW 'i4' would be a more "fasionable and sporty" model to complement the i3 in BMW's increasing electric range.

According to French magazine l'Automobile, the new car could be unveiled at the L.A. Auto Show later next month.

The i4 name stems from BMW's new naming strategy, that reserves odd numbers for basic sedans and hatchbacks, and even-numbered models for coupes, convertibles and sports cars.

An i4 would thus be based on the i3 electric compact, but feature two fewer doors and a lower roof, to cut a more dynamic profile on the road.

Typical of a sportier model, it would also sell for more than the i3 hatchback, already touted to cost upwards of $50,000 in Europe, pre-incentives.

The 2014 BMW i3 uses a carbon reinforced plastic chassis to offset the weight of a heavy battery pack, and BMW claims 0-62 mph performance of under 8 seconds from the 170-horsepower electric motor.

Few details have been released about the car's range, but BMW has announced that the i3 would also be offered with a range-extending option, likely to be a tiny 600cc twin-cylinder gasoline engine.

BMW has not yet confirmed the i4 model, but if l'Automobile's sources are correct, we'll know when the Los Angeles Auto Show opens its doors to the press on November 28.


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