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Archive for the ‘BMW i3’ Category

PostHeaderIcon BMW Confirms the i3 Will Continue to Survive

After all the mumbo jumbo surrounding the i3’s existence, the automaker has finally confirmed that the little electric hatchback will continue to live on. When the i4 was announced at the Paris Motor Show, it looked like a legit replacement for the i3; also because BMW did not address the i3. Now, however, BMW has confirmed that it has got future plans for the i3, according to The Drive.

PostHeaderIcon 10 Most Fuel Efficient Cars of All Time

From hatches to muscles, cars of all shapes and sizes are adopting green technology. Whether autonomous cars will become a reality or not is a different question; electric cars are the future. Even though the ‘EV’ cars were introduced barely a decade ago, the kind of transformation and innovations we’ve seen in the last couple of years makes the whole thing look like a yesteryear concept. In this article, we’ve listed out the ten most fuel-efficient vehicles.

But before that, let’s just put the basic questions to rest once-in-for-all: the difference between EV, Hybrid, and Plug-in Hybrid – an electric vehicle is the one that runs solely on electric power. You don’t have a combustion engine here whatsoever. A hybrid engine is the one where the car will charge its own batteries on the run with the gasoline engine. As for the plug-in hybrids, the car can be plugged into electricity points to charge the batteries. Now that we have clarified the obvious and bored you enough, let’s move on to the heart of the article.

PostHeaderIcon BMW i8 and i3 Starlight Edition

Proving that it can match fancy with the best automakers in the world, BMW has rolled a one-off BMW i8 that’s dressed up in actual 24-karat gold. The unique creation is called the i8 Starlight Edition, and if you happen to have deep pockets, it can be purchased, provided you end up with the winning bid. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The BMW i8 Starlight Edition — and the i3 Starlight Edition, for that matter — will be up for auction to benefit the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97.

PostHeaderIcon BMW i8 and i3 Starlight Edition

Proving that it can match fancy with the best automakers in the world, BMW has rolled a one-off BMW i8 that’s dressed up in actual 24-karat gold. The unique creation is called the i8 Starlight Edition, and if you happen to have deep pockets, it can be purchased, provided you end up with the winning bid. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The BMW i8 Starlight Edition — and the i3 Starlight Edition, for that matter — will be up for auction to benefit the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97.

PostHeaderIcon Golden BMW i3 And i8 Starlight Edition Revealed

BMW has introduced tons of special versions of its i cars – the i3 and the i8. Now, the BMW Czech Republic division revealed a new stunning pair of special editions- the BMW i3 and the i8 Starlight Edition, two models that show off the exceptional possibilities of BMW’s paint partners at Toplac. As the official partners of the BMW ColorSystem, Toplac employed painter Miroslav Spicak and designer Zoltan Matuska to create the unique BMW i3 and i8 drizzled in gold. Literally.

PostHeaderIcon BMW Planning Different Sized Battery Cells, So Expect to Pony Up For Anything Above 280 Miles Per Charge

New-gen i8 will be all-electric

The BMW Group has big plans for its future all-electric lineup. A big part of those plans is the development of a number of battery packs with different amounts of power and range. The automaker’s goal is to create different battery packs that it can put in its future electric cars, at least depending on the segment those EVs will be slotted in. That means that, in addition to carrying different amounts of power, these batteries will also differ in size, depending on the size of the model that’s going to use them.

PostHeaderIcon BMW Will Use Different Battery Designs so Future Electric Cars Won’t Look Weird

There’s a lot we can say about the BMW i3, but the most obvious is that it, like myself, wasn’t graced by God in the beauty department. For me, you can thank less-than-favorable genes, but for the i3, it boiled down to BMW’s lack of experience with EVs at the time. The size and position of the batteries were far from ideal as were the general dimensions of the EV powertrain it developed for the i3. Luckily, that will be a thing of the past as BMW isn’t only focused on different capacity, but different shape of its future batteries as well. This is a move that will ensure models like the BMW i9, the iNext, and all electric and hybrid versions of its current models all look as sleek and sexy as their ancestors and ICE-toting counterparts.

PostHeaderIcon Rumor: The Mini Electric Concept Could Come to Life as the BMW i1

Having joined the electric car market with the i3 and i8 in 2013, BMW is now looking to expand its EV lineup with at least a couple more models. There have been rumors of i4 and i5 cars, an iX3 crossover, and even a production model based on the iNext concept. It’s difficult to predict which one will arrive first, but a new rumor claims that BMW is now considering the i1 nameplate.

PostHeaderIcon Is it the End of the Road for the BMW i3 and i8?

turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a single electric motor

The i3 and i8 kicked off the electrified range of cars for BMW in 2013. Not only did the cars succeed on the market, but they also offered a good share of the EV segment to BMW. However, the i3 and i8 might actually be phased out after the current generation. Read on to learn more.

PostHeaderIcon BMW’s Electric Offensive Now Includes 80,000 New Public Charging Poles in China

Every automaker has ambitions to get a bigger piece of the electric car market in China, and since the segment itself is on the cusp of a game-changing boom, that’s exactly what we’re seeing from a company like BMW. The German automaker is announcing a massive expansion to its charging network in China with plans to install more than 80,000 charging poles in over 100 Chinese cities. The company’s goal is to have these poles up-and-running when its fleet of new electric cars hit the market in the coming years.

PostHeaderIcon BMW’s Electric Offensive Now Includes 80,000 New Public Charging Poles in China

Every automaker has ambitions to get a bigger piece of the electric car market in China, and since the segment itself is on the cusp of a game-changing boom, that’s exactly what we’re seeing from a company like BMW. The German automaker is announcing a massive expansion to its charging network in China with plans to install more than 80,000 charging poles in over 100 Chinese cities. The company’s goal is to have these poles up-and-running when its fleet of new electric cars hit the market in the coming years.

PostHeaderIcon Daimler and BMW to Join Forces on the Mobility Front

We’ve seen automakers team up for a variety of reasons, including the sharing of platforms to streamline development and drive down costs. Now, BMW and Daimler are teaming up for a combined effort to create the latest mobility services for customers.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon The Majority Of BMW Customers That Went Hybrid Or Electric Won’t Return To Gas Only

turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a single electric motor

As we all know, the EVs are coming, and they’re coming in a big way. BMW knows this, and is actively pushing a new string of hybrids and all-electrics in a variety of segments to fill demand. And, according to a recent Digital Trends interview with BMW’s chief of electric powertrains Stefan Juraschek, it’s looking like that’s never gonna change.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


The Majority Of BMW Customers That Went Hybrid Or Electric Won't Return To Gas Only - image 728696
“In a BMW-commisioned survey, 90-percent of i3 owners said they wouldn't go back to a gas-powered vehicle; about 60-percent of hybrid owners will stick to hybrids, and 30-percent will switch to an EV.”

Although BMW built its reputation on offering sporty, luxurious gas-burners and diesels, the future involves bigger batteries and electric motors. BMW knows this, and now, its lineup includes standouts like the hybrid and all-electric BMW i3 city car, as well as the hybrid i8 sports car (which also just so happens to include a smattering of all-electric modes). Then there’s BMW’s numerous concept vehicles, such as the i Vision Dynamics that dropped last year, plus its iPerformance lineup, which includes the 330e sedan, 530e sedan, 740e sedan, and X5 xDrive40e SUV.

That’s a rather impressive number of models to sport extra electrons, but it makes sense in a rapidly changing market to hedge your bets. Until things start to settle, placing all your eggs in one basket is usually a recipe for disaster.

“First of all, we are convinced that we need more than one solution,”
Juraschek told Digital Trends. “Customer behavior is changing. People are becoming more and more attracted to the experience of driving a hybrid or an electric car.”

Juraschek also pointed out that customers enjoyed the quiet operation and smoothness of electrified powertrains, and that after living with an EV, they were much less likely to go back to a gas-only option.

“We sent several hundred i3 owners a survey last year,” Juraschek explains. “Ninety percent of them told us they’re not going back to a car with an internal combustion engine. On the hybrid, we’ve got about 60 percent who are staying. Thirty percent will switch to a pure electric vehicle, while only 10 percent are going back to a combustion engine. Driving electric is attractive.”


The Majority Of BMW Customers That Went Hybrid Or Electric Won't Return To Gas Only - image 728607
“In a rapidly changing market, it makes sense to hedge your bets. Until things start to settle, placing all your eggs in one basket is usually a recipe for disaster.”

Of course, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Battery size, and more specifically vehicle range, are both major areas that need to see development, according to Juraschek. BMW’s goal is to reach 300 miles between plug-ins, while effective quick-charging solutions are also high on the list.

Indeed, one of the all-electric segment’s biggest drawbacks is a lack of convenience. While internal-combustion vehicles can simply pull into a gas station and fill up for an extra 300 miles of range in a matter of minutes, it takes the standard EV several hours to do the same. Turn on peripherals like the stereo or air conditioning, and range takes a big hit as well.


2017 BMW 330e iPerformance - image 670152
“BMW is bullish about the technology. Juraschek points to Mini as a brand that's particularly well-suited for electrification, considering the small, city-car attitude.”

Still, BMW is bullish about the technology. Juraschek points to Mini as a brand that’s particularly well-suited for electrification, considering the small, city-car attitude. Mini’s very first all-electric model is scheduled for a debut next year, and according to Juraschek, will share drivetrain components with the BMW i3.

Of course, clamping down on technology developments should also be pretty high on the priority list. At the Consumer Electronics Show, Henrik Fisker showed up boasting about a breakthrough in solid state batteries, promising huge range (upwards of 500 miles) and recharge times equivalent to a regular gas fill-up.


2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e - image 621559
““We have to think about what infrastructure we need at that point. I think our cars will use lithium-ion batteries for the next two or three generations,” Juraschek said.”

However, Juraschek was reluctant to admit solid state batteries as a valid replacement for traditional lithium-ion units, at least right away. “It’s too early to discuss BMW’s entry point for solid state,” he told Digital Trends. “It’s still possible to improve [lithium-ion] technology, it seems to be robust. Looking at solid state, one issue is temperature. The operating range of these batteries is higher. Right now, if you put everything together on a system level, we do not know what is the advantage at the end of the day. We have to think about what infrastructure we need at that point. I think our cars will use lithium-ion batteries for the next two or three generations.”

All told, it remains to be seen exactly which direction the Bavarians will go. The i3 and i8 seem to be solid performers for the brand, so expect to see some development there, while the rest of the range should see an efficiency boost thanks to the inclusion of hybrid systems. However, in the end, BMW’s approach seems more reactive than proactive, swimming with the current rather than seeking to set it. Which, in a sea overflowing with failed start-ups and dead-end EV projects, probably makes the most sense.

References

BMW i8


The Majority Of BMW Customers That Went Hybrid Or Electric Won't Return To Gas Only - image 748136

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8 Coupe.


2019 BMW i8 Roadster - image 748122

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster.

BMW i3


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728622

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.


maker logos - image 741745

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon DHL Sources BMW i3 Battery Modules For Electric Delivery Trucks

Vehicular electrification is expanding in a big way, going from eco-conscious mpg bubbles, to luxury sedans, to super sports cars, and now, to the world of freight transportation as well. As such, delivery giant DHL hopes to add a dash of EV efficiency to its expansive fleet of vans and trucks, and BMW will provide the parts necessary with components sourced from the i3.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


DHL Sources BMW i3 Battery Modules For Electric Delivery Trucks - image 728696
“DHL's strategy will include both the purchase of new EVs, and the creation of its own vehicles as well”

Based out of Bonn, Germany, DHL Express is the largest logistics company in the world, delivering packages globally thanks to its vast collection of airplanes, ships, and ground transport. Now, the company is looking to the future, and sees EVs as the way forward for its various four-wheeled delivery vehicles.

DHL’s strategy will include both the purchase of new EVs, and the creation of its own vehicles as well. To that end, DHL purchased Streetscooter in December of 2014. Streetscooter is a German-based producer of electric vehicles, and as the company ramps up production to meet DHL’s electrification goals, it was just announced that BMW will provide the required battery modules for the new fleet, sourcing parts developed for its i3 city cruiser to do so.

“The BMW i3 high-voltage modules are exemplary for extraordinary reliability and performance in the car sector. They enable us to use state-of-the-art electric drive technology and integrated energy management even in demanding supply and distribution traffic,” said Achim Kampker, CEO at Streetscooter GmbH.

“The batteries are made up of 8 modules at 12 cells a pop, offering a 33-kWh capacity. Range is expected to be around 50 miles, but larger packs (the modular design allows packs up to 90-kWh) will allow up to 124 miles.”

Elektrek is reporting that Torqeedo, an electric boat manufacturer, is also sourcing its battery components from BMW. The batteries are made up of 8 modules at 12 cells a pop, offering a 33-kWh capacity. Range is expected to be around 50 miles, but larger packs (the modular design allows packs up to 90-kWh) will allow up to 124 miles.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about DHL dabbling in eco-friendly, alternative transport solutions. For example, a small portion of its fleet already runs on compressed natural gas. Following its purchase by DHL, Streetscooter has produced roughly 2,000 EVs (as of the end of 2016). The goal is to eventually replace all 70,000 DHL ground fleet vehicles with Streetscooter alternatives.

The announcement of DHL’s collaboration with BMW follows the debut of the Tesla Semi back in November. DHL already has 10 examples of the new Tesla on order.

Which begs the question – with the expectation that electric vehicles will become even more entrenched in 2018 with regards to the passenger vehicle segment, how will the freight industry respond? We could very well be seeing a new trend emerging as EVs seep into every segment out there.

References

BMW i3


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728622

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.

PostHeaderIcon BMW Trademarks i1 Through i9 in Preparation for its EV Onslaught

BMW has now trademarked all names from i1 to i9, adding it to a list that also includes iX1 through iX9 – signifying that German brand is about to unleash a furious lineup of electric vehicles to combat those from rivals like Mercedes which will be boasting its EQ brand in the coming years. Along with these new trademarks, new reports from BMWBlog imply that the entire BMW range could, indeed see full electrification. This new strategy, it seems, will see BMW present as many as 25 electrified vehicles, at least 12 of which will be all-electric within the next decade, or 2025 to be more specific.

Chairman of the Board for BMW, Harald Kruger, has confirmed that BMW does own the rights to all 18 names. “Our i story enters the next round. Going forward, all electrified BMW models will be under the BMW i brand. And I can tell you one more thing: We have not only secured the naming rights for BMW i – from i1 to i9. We also hold the rights for BMW X – from iX1 to iX9,” Kruger told press member at a sneak preview of upcoming BMW products.

Furthermore, you can expect to see an all-electric Mini hitting the market in 2019, which will ultimately be followed by a battery-powered version of the BMW X3 in 2020. Just one year after that in 2021, the new iNEXT should come in 2021. There will also, with near certainty be an i5 added to the mix somewhere in the next 5 years as well. The all-electric future is here folks. We might as well, sit down, buckle up, and make the best of it.

References

BMW i3


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728636

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.

BMW i8


BMW Debuts “New” i8 Coupe and the First i8 Roadster - image 748126

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i8.

BMW i5


2018 BMW i5 - image 618213

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW i5.


BMW i Vision Dynamics Previews Tesla Model S Fighter - image 730732

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept.

PostHeaderIcon BMW Trademarks i1 Through i9 in Preparation for its EV Onslaught

BMW has now trademarked all names from i1 to i9, adding it to a list that also includes iX1 through iX9 – signifying that German brand is about to unleash a furious lineup of electric vehicles to combat those from rivals like Mercedes which will be boasting its EQ brand in the coming years. Along with these new trademarks, new reports from BMWBlog imply that the entire BMW range could, indeed see full electrification. This new strategy, it seems, will see BMW present as many as 25 electrified vehicles, at least 12 of which will be all-electric within the next decade, or 2025 to be more specific.

Chairman of the Board for BMW, Harald Kruger, has confirmed that BMW does own the rights to all 18 names. “Our i story enters the next round. Going forward, all electrified BMW models will be under the BMW i brand. And I can tell you one more thing: We have not only secured the naming rights for BMW i – from i1 to i9. We also hold the rights for BMW X – from iX1 to iX9,” Kruger told press member at a sneak preview of upcoming BMW products.

Furthermore, you can expect to see an all-electric Mini hitting the market in 2019, which will ultimately be followed by a battery-powered version of the BMW X3 in 2020. Just one year after that in 2021, the new iNEXT should come in 2021. There will also, with near certainty be an i5 added to the mix somewhere in the next 5 years as well. The all-electric future is here folks. We might as well, sit down, buckle up, and make the best of it.

References

BMW i3


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728636

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.

BMW i8


BMW Debuts “New” i8 Coupe and the First i8 Roadster - image 748126

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i8.

BMW i5


2018 BMW i5 - image 618213

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 BMW i5.


BMW i Vision Dynamics Previews Tesla Model S Fighter - image 730732

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept.

PostHeaderIcon BMW recalls all the i3 models ever sold in the United States

BMW is recalling all the i3 EVs sold in the U.S., both electric and range-extended models, following results from a crash test by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). The German automaker is also stopping i3 sales until it can fix the issue. The small electric car failed a front rigid barrier crash with a five-foot-tall, 110-pound female in the driver’s who is not wearing a seatbelt. According to the NHTSA, this situation produces a marginally higher risk of neck injury. The recall affects all i3 cars sold in the United States from model years 2014 through 2018, which covers the entire production run for the U.S. market.

The recall will commence in January when all owners will receive a letter to take their cars to dealerships for a fix. BMW says that customers can continue driving their i3s until then, claiming that the car remains safe when the driver wears a seat belt. “While BMW’s compliance testing showed results well below the required limits, more recent testing has shown inconsistent results,” BMW said in a statement. “Consequently, BMW has issued a recall and is working with the agency to understand the differences in the test results. A remedy is forthcoming.”

Granted, the recall doesn’t seem like a big deal safety-wise (you are wearing a seat belt, right?), but it didn’t happen too often for an entire nameplate to be affected and called back. It will be interesting to see what kind of fix will BMW find for a safety issue like this one.

References

BMW i3


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728636

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.


2017 BMW i3 94 AH - image 674529

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW i3 94 AH.


2015 BMW i3 - image 528113

Read our full review on the 2015 BMW i3.

PostHeaderIcon BMW i3 M

BMW launched the i3 electric errand-runner in 2014, and recently introduced a new iteration called the i3s at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This latest “s” version is sportier than the standard model, gaining more power and extra handling capabilities, which got us thinking – where would this sort of evolution eventually lead? Would (could?) BMW turn the i3 into a bona-fide sports machine, rather than just an eco model with 15 extra ponies and a lower stance? If so, what would something like that look like? To answer those questions, we gazed into our crystal call, drew up a rendering, and did a little speculation. The end result is this – the BMW i3 M, a true motorsport performance box with specs to back the badge. Try 0-to-60 mph in less than five seconds and tail-happy handling dynamics, all with that i-branded eco friendliness when you’re ready to dial back the aggression.

So yeah, it’s just a rendering for now, but why not? After all, BMW is no stranger to the world of high-speed hybrids – just look at the i8, the success of which most likely prompted further discussion on the topic amongst BMW’s top brass. Add in copious rumors that such a thing is indeed under development, plus the fact that actually producing this thing wouldn’t be terribly difficult for the brand, and we’d say odds are split 50/50 yay to nay. Read on for our speculative take.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i3 M.

Exterior


2020 BMW i3 M - image 734375

Overall, the BMW i3 M gets the same bubbly exterior styling as its non-M’d counterpart. The look is angular and chunky, with tons of little details offset in contrasting colors.

The colors we picked for the rendering are black and white, which makes it easy to visually pick out individual exterior features. Starting in front, we find a revised fascia, which ditches the rounded frumpiness of the old i3 in favor of a longer lower bumper and hard edges. There are three intakes here, with triangular-shaped intakes in the sides and a larger intake underneath, all of which get a black mesh covering. A lower splitter element helps add a little front-end downforce and directs the air to where it needs to be. Above the bumper is the traditional kidney grille, which utilizes a blue and chrome surround to denote the car’s eco friendliness, plus the requisite “M” badge as a nod to its sporting intentions. The kidney is bookended by the usual aggressive headlight units, which get U-shaped daytime running lights around the perimeter of the housings. The hood is finished in a glossy black, the shape of which pulls the eye rearwards towards the A-pillars.


2020 BMW i3 M - image 734374
“Above the bumper is the traditional kidney grille, which utilizes a blue and chrome surround to denote the car’s eco friendliness, plus the requisite “M” badge as a nod to its sporting intentions.”

Moving into the flanks, we find modest fender flares, once again in a glossy black color. The front fenders also get a V-shaped vent, similar to other M models seen before. The top half of the vehicle continues the black coloring, which gives it a sort of “floating” appearance, which is similar to the standard model. The side skirts continue with a black strake, which enhances a visual sense of forward lean to it, plus a bit of blue embellishment that adds a nice splash of color, similar to the i8. The side view mirrors were also reshaped to offer a more aggressive look.

In back, we find a modest trailing edge roof spoiler, once again in black. We would expect the i3 M’s hatch to be finished in black, with the taillights offering a similar shape as the headlight housings.

We think it’s a solid combination of cues, pulling heavily from both the BMW i8 and existing M products. Check it out –


2015 BMW i8 - image 522680

2015 BMW M3 - image 554283

Note: BMW i3 (standard model) pictured on the left, BMW M3 pictured on the right.

Overall, we think the updates add a good deal of much-needed aggression to the i3, which becomes even more important when framing it as a performance vehicle.

We’d also expect BMW to offer the i3 M with a large collection of optional aero enhancements and carbon fiber exterior pieces. Stuff like carbon fiber side view mirror covers, a carbon fiber rear wing, carbon fiber front splitter, carbon fiber wheel arch extensions, and maybe even a graphics package for a heavier-hitting visual impact should make the list.

Finally, Bimmer would most likely equip LEDs for the lighting front to back, while large 19-inch wheels (the option for 20-inch wheels will be offered) fill the corners.

Interior


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728630

Note: standard BMW i3 pictured here.

Getting in and out of the BMW i3 M will be the same procedure as the standard model. The doors will split down the middle, with the front doors opening forward and the rear doors opening towards the tail, providing a good amount of space to settle into the front seats or crawl onto the back bench. This ease of ingress and egress will be upped thanks to the lack of a B-pillar, which is a testament to the i3’s impressive chassis rigidity.

Once you situate yourself in the cabin, you’ll be met with a fun and funky layout. First and foremost will be an upgraded steering wheel, which will get a flat-bottom and multi-function design, plus the requisite M badging in the right spots and handy grips at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions. The dash will incorporate copious horizontal design schemes, and mount a digital display in a tall, central position. The central tunnel will get additional buttons and toggle switches, plus a rotary knob to control the infotainment system. The seats will gain additional lateral support, and come with the option for even sportier sitters if desired.

“First and foremost will be an upgraded steering wheel, which will get a flat-bottom and multi-function design, plus the requisite M badging in the right spots and handy grips at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions.”

While not quite as spacey and futuristic as the i8, the i3 M should still be a pretty nice place to be. Also expect copious amounts of M components inside, both optional and standard. That means additional M branding (door sill plates, etc.), and faux carbon fiber for the trim (dash, door panels, etc.). High-end contrast stitching and Alcantara upholstery will be included as well.

Of course, being an i model, there should be the option for sustainable interior materials as well. Packages for green stuff like recycled materials and renewables will help the i3 M keep its eco cred, if that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for.

“Of course, being an i model, there should be the option for sustainable interior materials as well.”

In terms of technology, the i3 M will also get the very latest tech BMW has on offer. These include stuff like parking assist, front collision warning, active lane keep assist, active cruise control, and the like, not to mention gesture control inside the cabin. Apple CarPlay will be there to support your smartphone, while the display mounted high on the dash will measure in at 10.25 inches.

Drivetrain


2017 BMW i3 94 AH - image 674522

Note: standard i3 drivetrain and powertrain pictured here.

The current standard i3 model comes equipped with a variety of different powertrain options. The first is the i3 60 Ah, which gets a 22-kWh lithium-ion battery, while the i3 94 Ah gets a 33-kWh lithium-ion battery. All that juice makes its way to a single electric motor in the rear, which drives the rear axle with as much as 125 kW (or 168 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque). Properly applied, it’s enough to do the 0-to-60 mph run in 7.2 seconds, while top speed clocks in at 93 mph. The recently unveiled i3s is tuned for a bit more output, bumping it up to 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque, shaving a little time off the acceleration figure in the process. Finally, the i3 can be had with the option for a two-cylinder gas-powered internal combustion engine. Displacement for the ICE is rated at 647 cc’s, which adds substantially to the car’s range

So what about the i3 M?

For starters, we’re thinking the powertrain will pull heavily from the BMW i8, ditching the two-cylinder range extender in favor of a three-cylinder ICE as standard. That’s right – go with the M, and you’re hybrid no matter what.

“We’re thinking the powertrain will pull heavily from the BMW i8, ditching the two-cylinder range extender in favor of a three-cylinder ICE as standard. About 230 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque would fit well with a car that’s this lightweight”

This inline three-cylinder will once again get mounted in the rear, with the displacement coming in at roughly 1.5 liters. Power will also see a substantial increase, and we’re thinking as much as 230 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque would fit well with a car this lightweight. That much muscle would propel the BMW i3 M from 0-to-60 mph in less than 5 seconds, while the top speed would look something like 130 mph, which is far above the sub-100 mph top speed of the current i3.

Despite the increased power and faster acceleration, the BMW i3 M should also offer some half-decent all-electric range, with about 90 miles of local emissions-free motoring possible, if desired.

What’s more, the powertrain will offer that classic electrified instant torque, which will make it an absolute pleasure to drive. Just stamp the long pedal, and the little speed cube will squat and go, no fuss involved whatsoever.

Chassis And Handling


2020 BMW i3 M - image 734372

While it’s true that M division cars have been getting a bit soft around the edges over the last few years, I’d argue the Bavarian skunk works still has the know-how to make the BMW i3 a stellar handler.

While the current model tips the scales at a few hundred pounds under the 3,000-pound mark, we’d wager the larger ICE and more powerful electric motor would inevitably bump the i3 M up to at least 3,000 pounds. Of course, the i3 M would retain the same carbon fiber tub as the non-M variants, utilizing the identical carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) material wherever possible.

“Utilizing the identical carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) material wherever possible, the weight would mostly get centered over the rear, but approach that magical 50:50 front/back weight distribution that’s so desirable amongst sporty vehicles.”

The weight would mostly get centered over the rear, but approach that magical 50:50 front/back weight distribution that’s so desirable amongst sporty vehicles. Of course, with a RWD, rear-engine configuration, that’s to be expected, and with the proper suspension set-up, the i3 M could be magnificent in the corners. Furthermore, the battery will be stashed underneath the floor of the vehicle, keeping a lot of the pounds low enough to maintain relatively low amounts of body roll.

Regardless, we’d expect the BMW i3 M to come equipped with much wider tires, as the standard i3 gets super skinny eco rubber. By contrast, the M version will get a wider track and tons more grip. The stance will also be lower over the large wheels, and there’s likely to be multiple driving modes to sharpen the throttle, tighten the steering, and other such sporting features. Finally, we’d also expect the option for a sport suspension package, plus bigger brakes.

Prices


2020 BMW i3 M - image 734373

The current BMW i3 starts at $42,400, and can range as high as $48,300 when adding in the range-extender internal combustion engine. If BMW was to go about offering an M version, we’d suspect that number would rise substantially – up to $60,000, give or take, which would represent a $20,000 rise over the current entry-level model. Throw in a few pricey options (M exterior package, sportier suspension package, etc.), and that number could go even higher.

Competition

Mini Countryman Cooper S E All4 Hybrid


2017 Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 - image 693245

2017 Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 - image 693246

Small, quirky, and chic – these are the things that make the Countryman hybrid special. This is really an ideal competitor for the i3 M, as it’s not only relatively similar in terms of body shape and size, but it’s got the same BMW gloss as well (BMW owns Mini, in case you were unaware). Not only that, but this small hatch also rocks the same 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder as the i8. The run to 62 mph takes 7.6 seconds thanks to 221 horsepower, while upwards of 26 miles of all electric range helps it get around without gasoline.

Read our full review on the Mini Countryman Cooper S E All4 Hybrid.

Tesla Model 3


2018 Tesla Model 3 - image 671345

2018 Tesla Model 3 - image 671349

Yes, we’re well aware that the Model 3 is all electric, all the time, and not a hybrid, but this segment isn’t exactly overflowing with options when it comes to competition. Not only that, but the Model 3 has pretty much established itself as the go-to affordable compact when it comes to green-intentioned driving. Thanks to its large lithium-ion battery pack, this thing can go upwards of 310 miles per charge, and hit the 60 mph benchmark in as little as 5.1 seconds. It’s cheaper too, priced at $35,000 before incentives. Of course, you need to factor in the convenience factor as well, given new orders take as long as 18 months to reach customers, plus the fact that charging the batteries takes hours to reach 100-percent capacity.

Read our full review on the Tesla Model 3.

Conclusion


2020 BMW i3 M - image 733434

While a BMW i3 M might seem like a long shot now, that could definitely change in the not-too-distant future. You see, BMW is doubling down on its electric and hybrid investments, and while that might seem a bit disturbing to those customers accustomed to the “Ultimate Driving Machine,” it’s highly doubtful the Bavarians will completely disregard their performance past in the name of eco friendliness. Sure, efficiency will get a bump and engines will get electrified, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun along the way.

“BMW is doubling down on its electric and hybrid investments, but it’s highly doubtful the Bavarians will completely disregard their performance past in the name of eco friendliness.”

We think a BMW i3 M is a great example of that balance. A car like this would be a mix of efficiency and power, offering sharp handling and comfort, all without burning too much petrol along the way. Yes, it’s expensive, but hey – it’s a Bimmer. That should be expected. Will customers feel the same way? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Leave it
    • Very expensive
    • Faster options available
    • In the customer interest there?

References

BMW i3


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728638

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.

BMW M3


2015 BMW M3 - image 554284

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW M3.

BMW i8


2015 BMW i8 - image 522684

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW i8.


2017 Tesla Model S - image 672439

Read more electric car news.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Here’s Why the Mercedes-AMG Hypercar Sucks Big Time

Phew, it’s Friday again. The weekend is just around the corner and summer is officially over. Well, the heat will still be around for a while, but at least the temperature is going down, and we’re getting rain on a regular basis. If you’ve been living under a rock, you should know that I hate heat. And summer. And fancy concept cars that scream “I won’t make it into production, haha!” Just like the Smart Vision EQ ForTwo. Seriously now, what’s the deal with all these cookie concept cars that look like they came from the future only to get stuck in the past, with no production model in showrooms? Aren’t you getting tired of that? It’s like automakers have some sort of target to reach. Just imagine some CEO rushing into a meeting to yell “okay folks, it’s 2017, and by 2022 we need to build five fancy concept cars. Don’t worry, we won’t put them into production, but they have to look futuristic and feature fancy gadgets.”

I swear that this is exactly how the Smart Vision EQ ForTwo concept was born. And Mercedes even had the nerve to give it an “EQ” badge to make us believe we will be able to buy one in the future. No, we won’t! I mean, we will be able to buy a better Smart EV at some point, but it won’t like this concept. It won’t be fully autonomous, it won’t have the fancy, lounge seat, and it won’t be able to read your mind. It will be just another cramped, overrated ForTwo with enough luggage room for a head of cabbage, three carrots, and half a cucumber. At least you can make a salad once you’re back from the market…

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon We Need More EV Performance Cars

In case you missed it, BMW just released details on the updated 2018 i3,
and the big headline isn’t the tweaked exterior styling or new interior color schemes. For any reader of this website, the most important part of the refresh is the addition of the i3s, a slightly sportier iteration of the all-electric eco-box bearing a little more power (up 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque compared to the regular i3’s 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque) as well as a lowered, stiffer suspension, and more aesthetic aggression. While not exactly a game changer, it’s a good sign of things to come. You see, the world needs more EV performance, and even the greenest of EV revolutionaries should be pushing for more battery-powered speed machines.

“Why’s that?” you might ask. “I thought it was all about efficiency and hypermiling and responsible commuting with that crowd.” While all these things are indeed important in the EV community, a focus on speed brings with it all kinds of benefits. For starters, faster EVs naturally lead to further battery development. If you’re constantly on the go pedal, you’re gonna be draining the battery mighty quick, which means there’s further incentive to stuff more range into every pack. This is doubly so in something like an EV racing series, which is a natural progression when you’ve got tons of popular performance cars out on the road. Indeed, it’s something we’re already seeing with the Tesla Model S, which has thus far challenged the gas-burning competition at the drag strip and Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and even gained its own racing series with Electric GT. The point is this – racing is good for the breed, no matter the end goal.

Furthermore, new EV performance cars also help to expand the segment, drawing in new customers and challenging preconceptions of what an EV “should” be. Just look at what Tesla did with the Model S. Now there’s proof EV’s can be quick, sexy, and luxurious, and additional performance EV’s would bring in even more of the traditional gearhead audience.

As they say, winning is winning, even if it’s by way of electrons rather than dino juice. We need more EV performance cars.

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