It's been a while since we've seen prototypes of the BMW i3 making the rounds around Germany, but today we get a glimpse of the entry-level EV with new body work and possibly fitted with a range-extending engine.

When the i3 was revealed earlier this year, BMW engineers divulged to Autoblog that the automaker plans to fit a 600cc, two-cylinder engine pull from its motorcycle line to the REx model. That variant is slated to hit the market soon after the standard electrically-powered i3 goes on sale in 2013. The system - similar to the Chevrolet Volt's, but without feeding any power directly to the wheels - would extend the 100-mile range and be mounted alongside the 125kW electric motor (the same fitted to the Active E and i8) in the rear. But why do we think this is the REx model? Stickers on the doors and hatch state "Hybrid Test Vehicle."

Stylistically, the profile of the i3 has carried over from the concept, including the compact rear window between the B- and C-pillars and the suicide rear doors. Interestingly, BMW appears to have nixed the rear door's handles, so in order to enter the back seats, you'll have to open the front doors first, ala the Mini Countryman. The front and rear light assemblies appear to be closer to production spec, as does the hood and hatch. And with development well underway, we should see the production version early next year.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      MocMyLov
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think you mean Mini Clubman. As far as I know, the Countryman has 4 REGULAR doors.
      Tom Moloughney
      • 3 Years Ago
      If the only reason you think this is the REx version is the "hybrid test vehicle" stickers then I'm afraid you are mistaken. I don't see any evidence of a tailpipe and BMW has used those stickers in the doors of the ActiveE during testing (I have many pictures of it) and that is a pure EV. It's part of the camouflage, to throw people off. Unless you see a tailpipe under there somewhere my guess is it's just a regular i3.
      heltersceltic
      • 3 Years Ago
      "rear light assemblies appear to be closer to production spec"... really? Right there in the rear bumper where the slightest nudge from a shopping cart will shatter them into a million pieces?
      Wawuzat
      • 3 Years Ago
      So much for the cool i3 and i8 concepts. When you slap some body work on them they blend right in with every other car. Sad execution.
        methos1999
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Wawuzat
        And you would know this because? The above images look pretty heavily clad in camo - impossible to tell what it looks like with production body work sans swirly wrap.
          hrgmpphoto
          • 3 Years Ago
          @methos1999
          Don't you know that a lot of automotive experts are gathering here that for some inexplicable reason have been overlooked by the automobile industry. They use a different crystal ball.
          Wawuzat
          • 3 Years Ago
          @methos1999
          Wait and see my friend. You will be disappointed.