2013 BMW i3 prototype – Click above for high-res image gallery
As if the spy video we featured previously wasn't enough proof, today we've confirmed that the smallest BMW i family offering, the i3, will be coming to market in 2013 with a rear-wheel-drive powertrain, and the electric motor powering those wheels will be mounted amidships.
The platform, which is all-new and primarily comprised of carbon fiber, was developed to house the motor ahead of the rear wheels, with the battery pack mounted below the trunk. According to a BMW spokesperson, the drivetrain can be completely separated from the body, making service and replacement a cinch.
The first version of this all-electric drivetrain will be fitted to the ActiveE 1-Series, BMW's second EV after the Mini E, which will make its North American debut at the New York Auto Show later this month. However, the primary difference between the i3's system and the unit fitted to the ActiveE is the battery pack. On the i3, the cells will be grouped together, whereas the electrified 1 Series will have battery packs spanning the space between the passenger compartment and the trunk. Additionally, BMW will be using the NY show to announce the lease plan and pricing for the Active E, so for those looking to get in on the EV sports coupe action, start saving your pennies now.
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