Is this the production version of the BMW i3 hatchback?

29/03/2013 - 10:20 | ,  ,   | Kaustubh Shinde

2014 BMW i3 hathback As fossil fuels get dearer and dearer, the question of what will power future cars becomes more pressing.

Every manufacturer has its own beliefs about the future and has made bets accordingly. BMW believes that the future of motoring is Electric Vehicles (EV).

The Bavarian automaker has decided to launch a whole new brand called ‘i’ that will have production ready EVs.

The first two cars of the i brand – i3 (a mini city car) and i8 (a sportscar) have been under development since quite some time now at the Miramas (BMW's own proving ground near the Arctic circle) has managed to snap the production model of 2014 i3 city car during its photo shoot.

The i3 is essentially a rear-wheel-drive electric minicar that is expected to debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

It is has a rear-mounted, 170 hp electric motor sourcing its power from a lithium ion battery pack. BMW says the i3 will sprint from 0-100 km/hr in less than 8 seconds and reach a top speed of 150 km/hr.

Using only the power from the battery pack, the i3 can travel a distance of 160 kms. However, to fight range anxiety, BMW will also sell a range extender pack (essentially a two-cylinder petrol engine) that will boost the range to 300 kms.

From the spyshot, you must have figured out that the i3 is no ordinary hatchback. The BMW i3 utilizes the company's new 'Live and Drive' architecture. It is built from exotic materials such as carbon fiber re-enforced plastics.

The charging time for the battery pack is expected to be 6 hours for a full charge but a high speed charger can get 80% of the battery pack charged in just one hour.

Being a BMW, expect superior driving dynamics to be endowed on the i3. It will feature a spring strut front axle and a multilink rear suspension. BMW will also endow it with a low center of gravity, the tight turning circle and excellent crash safety. Prices are expected to hover around USD 40,000 (around 21 lakhs)

Stay tuned for all the updates on the i3 as it nears production.


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