Stablemate to the i3 and i8 is tipped to appear in 2016 - as board member confirms verdict on body style is imminent
29 November 2015

BMW is in “the final stages” of deciding which type of model it will add to its line-up of i electric vehicles, according to the company’s board member for sales and marketing, Ian Robertson.

The German manufacturer is said to have been weighing up the merits of two different vehicle configurations for the next car, which is widely tipped to be badged i5. One car is a lengthened version of the i3 - almost a mini-MPV - while the other is said to be a saloon that could rival Tesla’s forthcoming Model 3.

Read our review on the BMW i3

“You will see more i products,” said Robertson, “and we are in the final stages of deciding what the next car will be and when you’ll see it.” An unveiling to coincide with BMW’s centenary celebrations next spring seems likely - and Robertson said, “We will look back 100 years at that point, but mainly into the future.”

Robertson also admitted that the i3’s modest sales figures are being governed by demand, rather than the industrialisation and production issues that troubled the vehicle at the start of its life. “We see lots of outside factors involved,” he said, “including range anxiety, incentives in some countries but not in others, and the price of fuel [in the United States]. But sales of the i3 are up 60% year on year and it’s the third best-selling EV in the world. We’re convinced the i steps have been right.”

The i8 sports car is considered more of a retail success than its smaller brother, with a healthy waiting list of orders.

Our Verdict

BMW i3
Two versions of the BMW i3 are on sale: a pure electric model or a range-extender variant

BMW makes waves with Europe’s first premium-brand compact EV

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Comments
23

29 November 2015

The "i" cars are a PR stunt sold as a fashion item. As a "megacity" vehicle, public transport could replace most i3 usage but not, of course, the owner's overbearing need to show off. These cars enable both BMW and their customers to do just that, preening their love for the environment and themselves. They should sell them with a retractable selfie-stick from which owners can admire themselves on those long, long hours stuck in city traffic.

29 November 2015

Or, it's for people who don't want to drive a car with a boring, generic design. Do you also criticise people for wearing different clothes, or living in a house with unique design features?

The 'i' brand is a breath of life into an otherwise bland era of car design. Something special which we haven't really seen from a mainstream manufacturer for decades. Give people a chance to think out of the box for a change.

29 November 2015

The concept:

Wikipedia wrote:

BMW's Project i is a program created to develop lightweight eco-friendly urban electric car concepts designed to address the mobility and sustainability needs for people who live in megacities

The reality:

Normapedia wrote:

BMW's Project i is a program created to develop lightweight eco-friendly urban electric car concepts designed to address the needs of monied, urban-dwelling eco-fantasists and their desperate need to show off their wealth and their self-proclaimed "kindness" over the course of some very short and pointless journeys, clogging up the city's roads when they could easily have got the bus if they wanted to save the bloody planet but of course that simply wouldn't do I mean what if the neighbours found out we were taking the bus of all things it's sooo grubby you know and ooohhh aren't those wheels nice and then there's that blue bit which swoops around it and why not I mean, everyone's got a 3 series these days, common as Fords, Jeremy says, and yes we got about 50 miles out of it coming back from my mother's the other day, yes 50! and it really does get a lot of attention but no that's not the *real* reason we bought it we're actually thinking about the planet you know in fact Jeremy says we've saved three whales already and I hate those awful common hatchbacks you see milling around and don't they belch out this awful smoke yes and OMG it just makes me weep for the polar bears could you pass the tabbouleh actually is it ethically sourced you know that's just soooo important to me...

29 November 2015

Out of interest what are the wheels of the Smellons household?

23 January 2016

But I'm not sure how to serve up bitterness, however, you've served it up quite adeptly.

I cannot relate to your comments, however, you do express yourself quite well. Obviously educated, observant and sooooo bitter.

I've owned 4 BMWs (not a 3 class, but don't kill me) and they are amazing machines and I feel grateful to own one. I don't live in a megacity but I wouldn't mind owning one of these "i" vehicles. I never thought of showing off nor would I ingratiate myself for the sake of the environment by buying this type of vehicle because that's just so elitist and all BMW owners are not elitists. I'm sure you'd know one if you saw one and it's clear that it is them you resent, but give BMW owners a break. Take a chill pill and be at one with yourself, you'll live longer.

29 November 2015

Seeing that their 3 Series is by far the most popular car in their range, I wonder if that gives them a clue?

29 November 2015

Norma - get over yourself. I am getting an i3 because it will mean far less C02 and N0x and suits my needs - and it's fantastic fun to drive

29 November 2015

An "i3" designed as a chic sports coupe runabout, in the general style of, say, the Smart Coupe, set to appeal to those driving mostly 1-up, in urban environment, surely would sell like hot cakes? A 0-60 in 7.2 secs could be quite appealing in such a package. A sort of poor-man's i8. But I guess BMW had to get their toe in the water with a sensible shoes i3, PR stunt or not, leaving plenty of breathing room for the halo i8. The only time I have seen an i3 on the road with more than just the driver has been near a BMW dealership on a Saturday afternoon, on a test drive methinks....

29 November 2015

Anyone know if James May has written anything about his i3 and experiences with it?

30 November 2015
Phil R wrote:

Anyone know if James May has written anything about his i3 and experiences with it?

Ahhh funny you should mention that. I remember the Top Gear episode when he test drove the Hydrogen Clarity a little while after slagging of the the Telsa of the day, anyhow then and in the Times he slagged off the Electric car and said Hydrogen cars were the way forward. Emmm shows how much he knows, what ever happened to Telsa... p.s. Top Gear also poked fun at the Leaf, Emmm what ever happened to that (more success). Good thing is I used to get slagged off by various Ludites on this site, emmm whatever happened to them (by Norma) as I know he's about the only one left.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

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