BMW vows i3 EV will drive handle like ultimate driving machine Auto News

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BMW i3  Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto

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The i3 unveiled in New York, Beijing and London has a top of 93 mph with a 110-lb. electric that generates 170 hp and peak of 184 lb-ft. BMW says it can go from 0 to 35 mph in 3.5 seconds and 0 to 60 mph in about 7 seconds.

credit: BLOOMBERG

Diana T.


Automotive News

July 29, 8:30 am ET

UPDATED: 7/29/13 pm ET adds details

Can the company touts itself as the ultimate machine produce an electric car environmentally-friendly materials and still like a BMW?

The German-luxury claims it has done just with the compact i3, its first electric car formally unveiled and touted by BMW for its construction and performance.

It is BMW s effort to innovate and keep of its chief rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW is the top-selling luxury brand in the and United States, and is betting the i3 will help pad its lead.

We are at the of a new era the era of sustainable mobility, CEO Norbert said today while the i3 in New York. This is what BMW is for. Our passion for mobility us the premium car company.

He vowed the i3 and mobility will do for individual what the mobile phone has for personal communication.

The i3 is the world s first mass-produced car carbon fiber reinforced BMW says.

The car is also expected to BMW meet more stringent economy and emissions requirements in the States and elsewhere in coming

The five-door, rear-wheel drive i3 has the footprint of the 1-series, the smallest BMW and the interior room of the 3-series car.

The car aimed primarily at users in densely populated has a pillar-less design with coach doors for easier access. Vehicle dimensions not released today.

It is equipped a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic cell, an interior of high renewable sources and recycled and weighs only 2,700 BMW said.

The i3 will cost including destination before a federal tax credit or any state when it goes on sale in the quarter of 2014. An optional range extender will be priced at $46,125, including

BMW plans to address widespread concerns with EVs by offering unique services and guarantees the i3:

• A battery with an 8-year/100-mile

• Roadside assistance if the battery a charge during a trip.

• A system that shows stations.

• House calls for test drives and special for dealers.

• A fee-based loaner program, arranged by dealers.

electric platform

BMW is the first brand to develop a dedicated car family with its own architecture and The second vehicle in the i subbrand be the i8 hybrid sports car that goes on sale in the second of 2014.

There are unconfirmed reports BMW has additional i models in the pipeline.

BMW has i0 through i9, said Ian Robertson, BMW s chief.

We have a lot of ideas, told Bloomberg at a media ahead of the presentation today. We re not this market to be a niche even though there are no additions under development.

The has invested $796 million million euros) in production for the car, including installing capacity of 40,000 units at its Germany, plant, and building a new in the United States at Moses Wash. to produce carbon for the passenger cell.

The company s investment in the i sub-brand program is an $2.7 billion.

BMW hasn t a sales target for the i3. But Robertson in a statement last week the company aims to be a significant in the market for electric vehicles, he has pegged at about 150,000 worldwide in 2012.

The United is expected to be the largest market for the BMW officials said today.

BMW is the i3 at a time when volume such as Nissan, Toyota, Motors and Audi have back their electric-car or offered aggressive incentives or cuts to stimulate sales.

the earlier hype about cars, the expectations for the i3 are now so low that BMW is in a position to positively surprise that car, said Pieper, an analyst with Metzler in Frankfurt.

BMW s chief competitors are entering the but adopting electric drivetrains for initially designed for conventional or diesel engines.

Mercedes-Benz rolling out its new generation of the Smart Electric Drive in May and will its B-class Electric Drive in the market in early 2014. The is a five-door compact and will use a ion battery from Tesla.

has ditched plans to make versions of its two-seat R8 supercar and the A1 hatchback.

Because the i3 was designed as an electric car, BMW cites advantages over conversion in which the original combustion is swapped for an electric motor.

drive modules

One of the key advantages is the i3 doesn t compromise interior BMW said.

The i3 architecture has two modules BMW calls the life module and the module.

The life module is the cabin made of carbon reinforced plastic that is as as steel but 50 percent lighter and 30 percent lighter than the company said.

The high strength of the carbon fiber added protection to the passenger But according to BMW that also it could use a smaller and lighter battery that requires charging time and increases

Although the interior has more sound materials, it has the same feel, of the mid-sized 5-series BMW said. About 25 percent of the in the interior and the thermoplastics used for the come from recycled or sources, the company said.

BMW i3  Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto

The drive module is made aluminum. The lithium ion battery is in the underbody section of the car. BMW this area absorbs the energy in the event of a crash and the shows barely any deformation as a result.

Placing the battery in the also gives the i3 a lower of gravity, adds to its agility and rollover unlikely, BMW said.

In the of a crash, when passenger systems are triggered, the battery is from the high-voltage system and the components are discharged. The safety prevents the possibility of a short which could lead to shocks or cause a fire.

in 7 seconds

The i3 has a top speed of 93 mph. BMW the 110-lb. electric motor 170 hp and peak torque of 184 lb-ft. The BMW i3 from 0 to 35 mph in about 3.5 seconds and 0 to 60 mph in 7 seconds, the company says.

BMW it built a recuperative mode the vehicle that is activated a driver lifts his foot the accelerator. The electric motor from driving to generating for the lithium ion battery.

The car can even at high speeds.

The i3 will a range of 80-100 miles can be increased 12 percent by putting the car an Eco Pro mode and another 12 percent in Eco mode.

The optional range-extender is a two-cylinder gasoline engine with 34 hp s mounted adjacent to the electric above the rear axle.

The extender increases the car s driving to 160-180 miles. It does not drive the rear wheels. The extender adds 330 pounds to the i3 s weight and has a fuel tank a capacity of 2.4 gallons.

The i3 has a turning of 32.3 feet, making it to maneuver in an urban setting, a weight distribution which is optimal in performance cars, and power steering.

BMW CEO Norbert What the mobile phone did for electric mobility will do for mobility.

Photo credit:

The rear-drive powertrain came the BMW ActiveE, which has been trials in the United States last year. BMW has leased 700 models, which are based on the coupe, in New Jersey, New York, Boston and three California The ActiveE two-year leases in 2014.

Before the ActiveE, conducted a trial with 450 Mini Coopers in 2010 and

The i3 s standard navigation system can traffic and set up a route to avoid congestion. It also remembers the s driving style and can determine if is enough charge left to a selected route, BMW said.

3 levels

BMW said today it offer the i3 in three different levels: Mega World, World and Tera World. was not disclosed.

The base Mega World has 19-inch forged aluminum navigation, BMW s ConnectedDrive infotainment the eCall collision notification an alarm, a 7.4 kW on board charger and LED and tail lights. The cloth is made from recycled

The Giga World package upgraded wheels, a leather steering wheeling and wool It has a garage door opener, and satellite radio.

The range-topping World also adds a interior, ConnectedDrive and other assistance systems as standard.

The Assistant Plus safety is optional. It has a Collision Warning that primes the brakes and can the car at speeds up to 35 mph to help avoid an The package includes active control and a stop and start

The parking assistant feature is optional.

Bloomberg contributed to report .

You can reach Diana T. at dkurylko@crain.com . Follow Diana on

BMW i3  Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto
BMW i3  Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto
BMW i3  Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto
BMW i3  Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto
BMW i3  Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto

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