Our Ron Doron takes a look at BMW's first volume-produced EV.
Arguably BMW's biggest debut in recent memory, the i3 inaugurates the Blue Roundel's electrified "i" sub-brand, a project that's been many years and billions of dollars in the making.
Wearing sheetmetal that's as unique as the technology that lies beneath, the i3 features the industry's first mass-produced Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic passenger cell. This advanced weight-saving measure helps to maximize the efficiency of the i3's powertrain, an electric motor that draws power from a lithium-ion battery and sends 170 horsepower along with 184 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels.
In addition to enabling a zero-to-60 mph sprint of 7.2 seconds, the setup is good for a claimed range of 80-100 miles. Those needing to go further can spec a motorcycle-derived 650cc range extender gasoline engine, which, instead of driving the wheels, recharges the battery to stretch the EV's range to about 185 miles.
With a starting price of $42,275, does the i3 deliver a strong value? More importantly, does it offer the driving experience expected of a BMW? Join our Ron Duron as he tackles these questions, and for more information, be sure to check out our First Drive review of the i3.