The range extender, which uses a two-cylinder 650cc petrol engine to provide additional charge to the drive battery, has effectively been made redundant by the improved, longer-range pure-electric version of the i3 unveiled at this week's Paris motor show.
The i3’s battery has been boosted to 42.2kWh from 33kWh provide 193 miles of range under new WLTP cycle. That's 34 miles more than the older version could manage and is sufficient, according to BMW, to negate the need for the range extender version, which offered a claimed driving range of 231 miles under the outgoing, less-accurate NEDC test.
In a statement, BMW said: “The Range Extender i3 will cease production and we will only sell the pure-electric version going forward. With the gains in pure-electric range, together with the increasing availability of rapid charging facilities we believe the customer demand is shifting to an pure-electric model.”
The move takes the i3 model range down from four variants to two, namely the standard i3 and hotter i3s. The latter produces an additional 13bhp and 15lb ft from its electric motor, with 181bhp and 199lb ft contributing to a 0-62mph time of 6.9sec.
The range extender version of the i3 formerly made up 60% of sales, despite a £3150 premium over the standard car.
The Range Extender i3 will still be available in North America and Japan, where demand remains higher than Europe and the rest of the world.
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