BMW's new i3 to cost around £35,000, on sale later in the year
Jim Holder
27 March 2013

The BMW i3 hybrid will cost from around £35,000, when it goes on sale at the end of this year, with customers also being offered a variety of leasing deals to attract them to the brand.

It's set to be sold as a range-extended hybrid vehicle or as a pure electric model, with the former likely to take the bulk of sales initially.

BMW's range-extender model features an electric motor that outputs 168bhp and 184lb ft, with power to charge the battery being generated by a 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine.

All-electric versions of the i3 use the same 168bhp electric motor. Both models are limited to 93mph but are capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in 7.2sec.

"The i3 will cost high-end BMW 3-series money initially," said BMW marketing boss Ian Robertson. "But we are also working on keen lease deals, as we expect that to be popular."

He continued: "Lease deals address many of the concerns about electric cars, and allow us to bundle up packages so customers can have, for instance, the option of BMW X5 loans on weekends, according to their needs."

The i3 will be joined in the range by the BMW i8 at the end of this year. Read our exclusive first ride report in the new BMW i3 and i8 here.

Click here for more New York motor show 2013 news.

Our Verdict

BMW i3

BMW made waves with Europe’s first premium-brand compact EV, and continued development means the i3 keeps upping the ante

Join the debate

Comments
6

27 March 2013

Looks like the range extender version to follow in GM footsteps, No doubt BMW fanboys will now claim it's the best method and all will be right in the world. 650cc twin sounds like a motorcycle engine!

Anyhow all's looking good in the Hrbrid/electric car world, roll-on the electric VW Golf and Focus

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

27 March 2013

If they can combine a competitive lease payment with the option to borrow something larger like an X5 for the weekends then they could be onto a winner.

It would suit me fine. Monday to Friday I do a 40-mile a day commute so an electric car would be ideal. The question will be how often you can borrow the larger vehicle and what the cost would be. 

 

27 March 2013

Yes, follows in the footsteps of GM and the other companies that got there earlier than that.  Hopefully as a proper series hybrid it will be a simpler solution than the Volt too.  The 650 engine is, indeed, a heavily adapted bike engine, presumably of Rotax origin?

When I first read about the i3 they were touting the fact that it would be engineered to have a far longer lifecycle than conventional cars.  If they can provide some evidence of that then I may well be interested - I quite like the idea of a car that will do me 25-30 years and wouldn't mind paying for actual rather than percieved quality.

27 March 2013

I can't wait to experience the i3, looks brilliant! Bravo BMW

27 March 2013

At last a car that makes sense in a world that is hostage to ever increasing fuel prices. An electric car with a small petrol engine to keep it going if you need to go distances longer than the battery allows.

Cars like this will ensure the future of the manufacturers after the new and much tighter European regulations hit us in '15.

6 April 2013

Good thinking by BMW to offer both a range extender and pure EV. Shame the cost of entry is so high. Nevertheless, you know when you look at something and you think you're seeing into the future. The i3 looks like that to me. Not certain the i8 is answering a question many people are currently asking, though. Will have to wait to see how it looks and drives first before passing further judgement. Interesting idea, nonetheless.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Genesis G70
    First Drive
    22 September 2017
    Based on the Kia Stinger, Genesis' new G70 saloon shows plenty of promising signs that it could be a hit in Europe
  • Lamborghini Aventador S
    First Drive
    22 September 2017
    Still visceral and dramatic as ever, but does the vast number of mechanical changes and tweaks help make the Lamborghini Aventador S more engaging?
  • Renault Koleos
    Car review
    22 September 2017
    Renault’s new crossover sees the Koleos name return, attached to an SUV of a quite different stripe
  • Nissan X-Trail
    First Drive
    21 September 2017
    On our first chance to get the facelifted Nissan X-Trail on UK roads, the petrol proves a viable alternative, although for outright pulling power the 2.0 dCi is the better bet
  • Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2d 210
    First Drive
    21 September 2017
    Most powerful diesel version of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is swift and more frugal than its closest rivals, but makes less sense than the range-topping petrol version