While in Germany at the first early pre-production drives of the hotly anticipated BMW i3, BMW people finally hinted at a price ballpark. Numbers being tossed around by pundits have actually been pretty close to what BMW is discussing internally - between $35,000 and just over $40,000. We have been assured now that the base price, should one choose to buy and not lease in the Euro zone, is just over 35,000 euro, with some big taxes included in that price. In the US, the starting price for the fully EV plug-in version should be $34,500 or right thereabouts. In addition to new pricing, we've also gotten our best-yet look at the i3, with the freshly uncovered spy shots you see here.

European deliveries begin in November of this year for the fully electric version of the rear-wheel-drive i3 with 168-horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The e-motor mounted over the rear axle is supplied with energy by the 22-kWh lithium-ion battery pallet under the passenger compartment. Recharging happens in any of three ways: public or personal garage plug-in charge station (garage version not included in the price), the onboard system's Eco Pro and Eco Pro Plus modes that add resistance to the drivetrain in a type of rolling brake energy recuperation, or through the normal brake energy and off-throttle coasting regeneration more common to EVs. Range on a full charge of this drivetrain is said to be upwards of 124 miles under hyper-miling conditions in Eco Pro+ mode.

Perhaps the best bit of news is that the alternative, range-extending, two-cylinder 600cc engine supplied by BMW Motorrad for the hybrid version of the i3 – mounted in the rear together with the e-motor – will add only 2,000 euros in Europe and about $2,000 in the US. This is a range-doubling solution that could have brought a much higher price gouge, so thank you, BMW. The hybrid e-drive i3 version arrives a couple months after the full-EV launch version. Remember that, unlike the very similar system for the Chevrolet Volt, the system in the i3 supplies no mechanical torque to the driven axle and is only used as a generator (a system BMW first used last year in the 1 Series-based Active E). The US is seen as the clear number one market for the i3.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 115 Comments
      schizzle
      • 1 Year Ago
      The BMW i3 has a 100-mile range, a hybrid motor for additional range, and only a $35K price??? Say goodbye to the Chevy Volt ($39K), Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid ($32K), Fusion Energi ($39K), and Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid ($40K). We hardly knew you.
        schizzle
        • 1 Year Ago
        @schizzle
        BMW i3 is actually $37K with the hybrid motor. However, the argument remains the same. Only $37K!!!
      SKINNYwithNOfood
      • 1 Year Ago
      For that price I'd rather just get a Volt.
      Carguy
      • 1 Year Ago
      As an owner of a Volt and a BMW Active E I think its great for BMW to price this car competitively and to basically give away the range extender (less than a price of active cruise control in a 528). On top of that BMW will offer free rental cars for long trips thereby quieting almost all knocks against current EV offerings. Three reasons why this car should succeed: 1) 3million Prii sold says hybrid/EV buyers want their car to look different than a standard car; 2) 35K for a BMW (hopefully pre- State and Federal incentives) is a car that will attract lots of buyers (especially in BMW's biggest market SoCal); 3) Similar HP and Torque figures as a BMW Active E with 600-1000lbs less to carry around is going to be a fun BMW to drive
      James Edward Smith I
      im very excited to see how this car pans out in the future. i believe that the range extending version of the i3 is a great precursor on what most cars will be like in the future.
      Smoking_dude
      • 1 Year Ago
      In germany it is cheaper than an Ampera (volt) and is has twice the range. on the contrary the range extender is smaller and less powerful, but for me that is ok, as it is a range extender. I expect a 35.000 Dollar price tag, as the volt costs the same in euros in germany as dollars in the us. With the 2014 rebates form gm for the 2013 volt the Ampera is even more expensive here. so the i3 could be an interesting alternative for around 30.000 dollars (subsidies). And with less camouflage it does not look bad. a bit like the mini . maybe it gut also a frunk?
        theflew
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Smoking_dude
        The question is what happens when this thing starts it's range extender? It will have to run pretty hard or it's going to start long before you go 100 mile just to make sure there is a huge buffer.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is that a pre-tax credit price? If so, that is a pretty awesome . . . an electric BMW for $27500 after credit? That is going to sell. And only another $2000 for the range-extender? That is great! This car has my attention!
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      rmkensington
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would be shocked if it sells for less than $45k.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      The looks don't really bother me, since I normally travel inside a car, so they are someone else's problem, but BMW with that peculiar small double grill do seem to have achieved something of a porcine look. The new electric piglet from BMW?
        DarylMc
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        Hi DaveMart Porcine hey. I just come here to improve my vocabulary.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Although BMW is coming late to the electrified vehicle party, they are bringing something new to the party . . . the first BEVx. "The Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulation—one of the three main regulatory packages that constitute ACC—introduces a new regulatory vehicle category: the BEVx, or a battery-electric vehicle with a small “limp-home” range extending engine or APU (auxiliary power unit)—i.e., not a series-hybrid type vehicle such as the Chevrolet Volt equipped with a full-capability engine" http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/01/bevx-20120129.html If that type of architecture gets more plug-in cars on the road, I'm all for it. And it would be especially nice if it has a DC fast-charger such that you could use the limp-mode to limp to the closed DC-fast charger.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        I'm all for it too. They should shouldn't be counted as BEVs, which they are. They are direct substitutes for up to 50% of a company's BEVs in the CARB formulae. That means fewer BEVs and more gas burners. This shouldn't happen.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          Meh. I suspect they'll be used as pure BEVs 95+% of the time. That is good enough for them to make up 50% of BEV requirement for me. If this is the architecture that gets people to adopt EVs in mass numbers, that will matter far more than the entire ZEV program. I'm an EV fan but I still keep my gasser around because even though I can do some 97% of my driving with the EV, I still need the gasser for those 3% of the time. This car would allow me to get rid of the gasser (assuming it has a fast-charger).
          JakeY
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          @Spec Maybe, but you can argue the Volt and other PHEVs can operate as pure BEVs a large portion of the time, but yet they substitute for 0% of a company's BEVs. This car actually is not designed to let you get rid of a gasser, because the engine is designed for "limp home," not to operate like a hybrid in CS mode. It's not designed for long distance travel (as people seem to be expecting). That's why the gas tank is so small and power so low. It's only there to address "range anxiety" as a backup.
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          Spec: You use a Volt as an EV almost all the time too. But GM couldn't count it as BEV credits, so they had to make a BEV or pay Tesla (or others). But not BMW! Now BMW can make a car with an ICE and still count it as a BEV. It's supposed to have an SAE combo option. It's unclear how refueling works on the car. The justification in the regulation is that the car can be a BEV because it starts out on electricity and only goes to gas for a short period after. It's unclear how this interacts with refueling. If you only have 20 miles electricity in it, does it artificially limit the gas range to 20 miles? Does it prevent refueling without recharging first? Will it let you drive completely without plugging in? I guess we'll find out later. JakeY: The regs do not require the car be less capable in range extending mode. Thus we don't know until BMW announces how it works in RE mode. It's possible its fully functional on level ground at least.
          JakeY
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          @Rotation "The regs do not require the car be less capable in range extending mode. Thus we don't know until BMW announces how it works in RE mode. It's possible its fully functional on level ground at least." I missed that, but looking at the regulations, you are right, so it's still possible it will operate better than commenters are suggesting here. But the small 2-3 gallon tank is still going to make long trips impractical. The regulation requires the APU to provide less range than the AER, so that means at most 100 miles of range hypermiling on the APU also, probably much less than that when considering EPA.
      Blizzard_Esq
      • 1 Year Ago
      SPOTTED 7/9 HOT WEATHER TESTING IN DEATH VALLEY.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
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