Currently reading: BMW i3 spotted during final testing
BMW's i3 city car caught on camera during final testing, before going on sale in October

BMW's i3 city car has been spotted during final testing in Germany before hitting showrooms in October.

The five-door hatchback, which will be offered with either an all-electric or range-extended powertrain, is expected to cost from £35,000 when it goes on sale later this year. BMW showrooms have already had several models of the i3 on display for customers, and the car was recently seen at London's Motorexpo, but BMW is still giving the car a final shakedown.

This test mule was spotted in southern Germany with minimal camouflage. Most of the design of the i3 is already known, including the fact that the clear doors shown on early prototypes have been replaced with more standard options, but in these pictures the side window line is disguised, suggesting ongoing development.

Order books for the car will open towards the end of this month, with the range-extender model getting a significant price premium over the pure-electric version, at £38,000. Such a cost will place the i3 at a price point above rivals like Nissan's Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt. Based around BMW's 'Life Module' concept, the i3 has a carbonfibre reinforced plastic body structure and rides on a chassis made of almost pure aluminium.

The production version weighs 1270kg, with dimensions to rival the Mini One. The electric motor in the i3 is a 168bhp unit with 184lb ft of torque. BMW claims the i3 can acheive 0-37mph in 3.9sec and 0-62mph in 7.9sec. Maximum speed is limited to 93mph.

Recent spy shots of BMW's other i-range model, the i8, have also confirmed that the model is nearing completion. The i8 is expected to cost £100,000 when it arrives next year.


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pauld101 8 July 2013

The ultimate driving machine....

Is of course a Ferrari, maybe a Lamborghini?  Then it must be a Spyker, no?  Oh, the combination of ride comfort and handling, a Rolls-Royce?  A Jaguar??  You say a BMW?  Hahahahahahaha.  Let's face it BMW are up there with VW as masters of the marketing bull&hit.  Note to self: must ask next 3- or 5-series owner I meet whether front or back starts to run wide in a corner when a car understeers....

Styling wise, 3 and 5 aren't bad, certainly up there in the pack, so how come they've signed of this biscuit tin?  Probably same jokers that signed off the 5 series GT...

fadyady 7 July 2013

Resemblance and steep price

Agree with the comments above in the pictures of the car from the side and rear, it does look a lot like the discontinued A2.

I read somewhere that the I3 lease installments would be similar to the 3-Series but at £35 grand it looks a bit implausible.

Zoinks Danielus 5 July 2013

Suicide doors?

Looks like it will get the same suicide doors like there is on the Mazda RX-8