Called the i3, it’s BMW’s first attempt at building a zero-emissions premium hatch.
The BMW i brand stands for visionary vehicle concepts, inspiring design and a new understanding of premium that is strongly defined by sustainability.
As such, the i3 runs on electric power alone and BMW is adamant that it’s capable of offering customers groundbreaking ways to experience the driving pleasure the BMW brand is known for.
That much is already apparent from a styling perspective. The i3 package includes the obligatory BMW sportiness with the necessary green credentials thanks to an electric motor that generates 125kW and 250Nm of torque. The power flows to the rear wheels (still no front-wheel-drive BMW) via a single-speed transmission. The battery gives the car a range of 130km to 160km when fully charged from a conventional domestic power socket, BMW i Wallbox or public charging station. That’s more than enough for the average weekday commute in South Africa.
On the inside, there is space enough for four people and an instrument cluster that looks like it was pilfered from the Starship Enterprise. We expect quality and equipment levels to be up there with the best. It is, after all, still a BMW at heart.
The i3 is set to arrive in South Africa in April 2014. More information on pricing and standard specification will be available then.