BMW India is considering the i3 Electric hatchback for the car market here. The German luxury and sportscar brand launched the i8 hybrid sportscar just yesterday, the brand’s second such vehicle after the 7-Series ActiveHybrid. At the i8’s launch, the i3 hatchback was also displayed.
The i3 electric hatchback, in contrast to the i8, runs solely on battery power, with a 170 Bhp electric motor propelling it ahead. Among the luxury car pack, BMW is positioning itself as a leader in sustainable mobility and the i range of cars form a significant part of the automaker’s strategy.
The i3 is BMW’s first all-electric car in production at Leipzig, Germany. The car was developed with the intention of offering a zero emission, compact and peppy vehicle for city slickers. The i3 is a rear wheel driven compact car, which measures 3,999 mm in length, 1,775 mm in width, 1,578 mm in height, and with a wheelbase of 2.570 mm.
The i3 weighs a little under 1,200 kilograms despite it’s electric car underpinnings. The light weight can be attributed to the unique construction of the car, which melds an aluminium subframe to a carbon fiber reinforced polymer passenger cell.
While the aluminium subframe holds the powertrain, batteries, range extender and suspension, the passenger cell holds four passengers. The car is powered by an electric motor that makes 170 Bhp-250 Nm. A single speed automatic transmission drives the rear wheels.
BMW also offers a 650cc, twin cylinder range extender that serves as a generator for the i3’s battery pack. Adding the range extender extends the electric car’s range to nearly 300 Kilometers, up from the claimed 160 kilometers that the i3 is otherwise rated to deliver. The range extender also makes the i3 a series hybrid car.
In terms of performance, the car’s top speed is limited to 150 Kph, in order to maximize the range of the battery pack. However, the acceleration is quite brisk, with the 0-100 Kph sprint completed in just 7.2 seconds. The car’s 50:50 weight distribution is meant to offer sharp handling dynamics, in tune with BMW’s “Joy of Driving” promise.
If launched in India, the i3 electric car will be imported as a completely built unit, and will join the i8, in the BMW i portfolio here. Expect pricing to be steep, with a 50 lakh rupee price figure making the car a toy for the rich, who may want to buy one, as a clean, green option for their city commutes.