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BMW i3 released

BMW i3 released

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15th December, 2014

This four-seat, five-door hatch is the first BMW to run solely on electric power.

With an everyday driving range of up to about 160km from its rear-drive electric motor, the BMW i3 offers BMW style, connectivity and driving characteristics in a zero-emission small car package.

BMW Group Australia general manager of sales, Tom Noble, said that with its carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell, aluminium drive platform and BMW eDrive electric powertrain.

The body design dispenses with B-pillars, thanks to the lightweight but extremely rigid CFRP passenger cell, and together with the front and rear 'coach' doors that open in opposite directions, provides easy access into the cabin.

The large glass surfaces and short front and rear overhangs emphasise the “lightness” of the car expressing not only its sustainable efficiency but also its urban agility.

At the same time, trademark features including the kidney grille; U-shaped LED tail lights and LED driving lights that surround the headlights; and the “black belt” that extends from the bonnet, over the roof and onto the glass tailgate, clearly mark the BMW i3 as one of the BMW i models.

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The unique styling continues inside where sustainably-sourced materials including the standard leather/wool fabric upholstery are combined in three trim options with Lodge, Loft and Suite lines.

Mounted on the steering column behind the two-spoke multi-function steering wheel is a 5.5-inch digital instrument display screen that provides the driver with essential information such as road speed and battery charge levels. The gear selector and start/stop button are also positioned on a short stalk mounted on the steering column.

In the centre of the instrument panel above the climate and audio controls is a second, highly visible 10.3-inch screen that displays all vehicle, infotainment, navigation and communication functions that are easily accessed via the BMW iDrive Controller – including a touch controller that recognises handwriting - between the front seats.

With all drive components and batteries located under the cabin and the motor mounted near the rear axle, there is no traditional central tunnel through the interior creating a spacious, open and airy feeling aided by the elevated seats and large glass areas.

Behind the rear bench seat with its two seating positions is a 260-litre capacity luggage space that can be further expanded to 1,100 litres with the 50/50-split rear seat folded flat, with an additional 35-litre storage space under the bonnet.

The BMW i3 is well equipped for occupant comfort and convenience with standard features including climate control, cruise control with braking function, Parking Assistant, heated electric folding mirrors, electric one-touch front windows, automatic windscreen wipers and lights, LED interior ambient lights, keyless start/stop, Navigation Professional System with 20GB hard drive and BMW i-specific functions, DAB+ tuner, and convenience telephony with extended Bluetooth functions including audio streaming, Voice Control and pairing of multiple devices.

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The architecture helps offset the 230kg weight of the battery pack giving the BMW i3 a kerb weight of just 1,195kg ensuring reasonable performance and ample range from its BMW eDrive electric motor.

Driving the rear wheels, the electric motor produces 125kW of power and 250Nm of torque that is enough to propel the BMW i3 via its single-speed automatic transmission from standstill to 100km/h in 7.2 seconds.

The BMW-developed eDrive motor is powered by a 360 volt, Lithuim-ion battery pack comprising eight modules, each with 12 cells, that is mounted within the Drive module.

The battery pack can be charged from a standard domestic power outlet in approximately 11 hours but using the BMW i Wallbox Pure accessory unit reduces the charging time to about six hours. Under the 360° ELECTRIC programme, the BMW i3 can also be charged at public charging facilities run by BMW partner ChargePoint using the ChargeNow card for cashless payments.

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The BMW i3 offers three modes of operation with the default COMFORT mode enabling a range of up to 160km from a single charge, ECO PRO mode adding about 20km, with approximately 180km range in the ECO PRO+ mode.

For even greater driving distances, the BMW i3 is also offered with an optional Range Extender two-cylinder petrol engine that allows the car to travel up to 300km between charging.

This small 28kW 650cc engine is used solely to power the generator and recharge the batteries and even with the petrol engine, the BMW i3 maintains extremely low emissions with a fuel consumption rating of just 0.6l/100km and CO2 emissions of 13g/km on the EU cycle test.

While the BMW i3 is fitted with both brake and accelerator pedals, a single-pedal control system offers an opportunity to improve efficiency even more.

As soon as the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal, the system engages a speed-sensitive braking recuperation mode to regenerate energy and apply a controlled braking effect.

BMW i3 Australian Pricing*

BMW i3  $63,900*
BMW i3 with Range Extender $69,900*


* Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.



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