BMW has announced its diminutive and built-from-the-ground-up i3 electric car will be launched around three weeks from now.
The actual date is July 29, and BMW aims to place its contender in the marketplace in two forms, one of which is a peppy straight electric car with around 168 electric horsepower and 184 pounds-feet of torque. The other expected to be offered is a similar i3 model albeit with two-cylinder range extender.
Estimated starting prices are in the $40,000 range, tax-credit eligible, but MSRP was not stated in BMW’s release. Rather, the company issued a video of attractive people posing in front of a camera, introduced a German word: Vorfreude, meaning “anticipation,” and intended to elicit some sort of visceral response without actually stating anything about the car.
The i3, ostensibly a city/suburban car, has been compared to a Mini Cooper but it’s 4.7 inches longer and 5.2 inches higher. Its electric range is like a Nisssan Leaf’s at 80-100 miles, reportedly.
Zero-to-60 time is 7.2 seconds from the rear wheels driven by the rear-mounted motor via a fixed-gear, single-speed gearbox.
The avante garde design features two small doors per side that oppose, opening in reverse.
BMW hopes the i3 will be well received and offer a solid alternative to the growing EV market as it prepares more electrified offerings to come.