BMW i3 officially unveiled, priced at $41,350

Team OD Published: July 29, 2013, 09:11 PM IST

BMW has officially unveiled the production model of its i3, which it claims to be the world's most intelligent zero-emission electronic vehicle (EV). The model, built in Leipzig, Germany, has been priced at $41,350 in the US and £25,680 in the UK.

The BMW i3 ConceptThe BMW i3 Concept

Announcing the company's official entry into the EV market, BMW claimed that the rear-wheel drive i3 will go from zero to 100kmph in 7.2 seconds. It uses lightweight carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) for the passenger cell to cancel out the extra weight contributed by the high voltage lithium-ion battery.

It is expected to be rolled out in the European market in November and in the US in the second quarter of 2014.

The electric motor generates output of 125 kW/170PS and peak torque of 250Nm, which is on tap from the word go.

The lithium-ion battery enables the BMW i3 to achieve a range of 130 to 160 km in everyday driving. This rises by around 20 km in ECO PRO mode and by the same distance again in ECO PRO+ mode. If desired, the BMW i3 is also available with a range-extender engine, which maintains the charge of the lithium-ion battery at a constant level while on the move as soon as it dips below a specified value. This role is performed by a 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine developing 25 kW/34PS and mounted immediately adjacent to the electric motor above the rear axle. The range extender increases the car's maximum range in day-to-day driving to around 300 km.

An intelligent car

The BMW i3 is also the world's first fully networked EV. A SIM card fitted as standard in the BMW i3 is the key that unlocks the BMW ConnectedDrive services available to the new electric model.

For example, it introduces navigation services specially developed to enhance electric mobility. Drivers can use the BMW i Remote app to share information with their car at any time using their smartphone. The pedestrian navigation function guides the driver from parking place to final destination and back, while BMW ConnectedDrive also offers unique intermodal route guidance as a world first, which incorporates local public transport connections into journey planning.

The Range Assistant is engaged both for route planning and during journeys already under way. If the destination programmed into the navigation system is beyond the car's range, the system suggests switching to ECO PRO or ECO PRO+ mode and calculates a more efficient route. If the driver needs to charge the battery at a public charging station, a list of available stations in the area is displayed.

The BMW i3 is also available with an array of other innovative BMW ConnectedDrive driver assistance systems developed specifically to enhance convenience and safety in urban conditions. These include Driving Assistant Plus, Parking Assistant, a rear view camera and Speed Limit Info.

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