• Mar 8, 2011
2013 BMW i3 – Click above for high-res image gallery

BMW engineers are busy putting their new line of i-branded vehicles through the winter-ringer, and in addition to testing the i8 hybrid halo, the i3 has been spied taking to the snow.

The shape of the i3 decidedly un-BMW, with its upright, pedestrian-friendly nose, slab sides and bulbous back end. The taillamps fitted to the prototype obviously aren't production-spec, while the thin tire and wheel combo are doing double-duty, blending winter grip with low rolling resistance. The overall shape is rather anonymous, but we're digging the sloped roofline and massive greenhouse, which should make visibility that much better.

Although BMW has confirmed that the passenger cell will be made of carbon fiber, the rest of the chassis is likely to employ plenty of aluminum to keep the curb weight in check. What we don't know is what kind of powertrain is fitted underneath and which wheels are driven. Our sources indicate that the i3's architecture will be rear-wheel drive, but there's still some question whether the smallest i will be a hybrid or an EV. If it's the latter, expect a 0-60 mph time of around 10 seconds and a range that tops out near 100 miles. Sales are slated to begin in late 2013, right after the range-topping i8 hits the market.



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  • 43 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      BMW was compelled to make their own version of the Fiat Multipla.
        • 3 Years Ago
        All valid opinions, but I go for "modern day Audi A2". Not only because of its shape, but because of how different it is to the brand's other models.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I see miniature Nissan Quest.

        And do my eyes deceive me, or are the rear wheels larger in diameter than the front?
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm disappointed. What motorcycle did they steal those wheel from? Seriously, this is a dorky toy car. This doesn't look mean, sporty, cool, stylish or anything positive much less worthy of a bimmer logo.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yup, and I say bring it on!
      • 3 Years Ago
      *shudders in horror thinking about what might lurk under the camo*

      Oh please, BMW, go easy on our feeble eyes.
      • 3 Years Ago
      i see mini, i see scion, i see i3
      • 3 Years Ago
      Autoblog is AOL? explains a lot.
      • 3 Years Ago
      So this is what a BMW minivan looks like?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is someone calling? Is this car the one for whom the bell tolls? I think you meant to say "winter-wringer" You ring a bell, but you wring out wet clothes.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Any Photoshop cowboys out there wanna let us know what this thing *really* looks like?
      • 3 Years Ago
      can someone explain why anyone would want a BMW that looks like this? i have noooo idea...
      • 3 Years Ago
      It is a sad day for the roundel. However, every company will need to build these cars in the future in order to comply with fleet fuel efficiency requirements. I can except this little electric powered turd as long as they continue to make M3s that are fun to drive.

      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow look at how those tail lights jet out.. I kind of like it. I'm interested to see what else they come up with. By the looks of it it's probably going to be affordable too.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The taillights and headlights are just placeholders; the actual units don't exist underneath and haven't been fully developed yet.

        Despite how funky looking the car will probably be, BMW work their hardest to create an attractive line of cars that will bring the average MPG/fuel consumption of the brand down, allowing them to continue making our beloved non-i BMWs.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Expand or get bought out by those that are. I assume this i brand will use a blend of mixed around 1-series (RWD) and MINI (FWD) Platforms and engines to spread around costs, although the marketing expenditure to launch this new brand is going to be heavy!
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's a cross between the mini and a Toyota iQ. Couldn't be any more obvious. And how are they able to use "I" that is Apples thing. Either way lame. Going to cost too much for what you get. This CAFE crap has gone too far. Let the market and consumers decide what we want not the government using some fake new world order globalist crap like global warming. All while china continues its domination. That's the funniest part.
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