To reverse the old Field of Dreams quote, they are coming, so BMW is building them. All indications are that US demand for the BMW i3 plug-in will be larger than initially expected. As a result, the automaker is upping production at its German factor by more than 50 percent in advance of stateside sales, Automotive News says, citing BMW boardmember Harald Krueger.

BMW has started making about 100 i3s a day, up from its previous daily rate of about 70 units. So far, BMW, which is expected to begin sales of the i3 in the US later this month, has made about 5,000 i3s. BMW spokesman Dave Buchko confirmed in an e-mail to AutoblogGreen that the company was boosting production of the i3 based not only on US demand but on worldwide demand, but he declined to be specific about BMW's new production rate.

BMW started selling the i3 in Europe in November and had racked up a six-month waiting list by early February. Last month, Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management for BMW, estimated that the company would be making a cool 100,000 i3s a year by the end of the decade, and that the global automotive market would support that production level. Check out our First Drive of the i3 here.


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  • 14 Comments
      Barry Hubris
      • 8 Months Ago
      Drove one. It's quick off the line and the fact you don't need to use the brakes most of the time is pretty smooth. Essentially one pedal for all work. But damn you sit high, the interior materials may be green but they're also awful and the backseat is a cruel joke. I think the powertrain and carbon fiber chassis/body parts on the next gen 3 series would make this a realistic daily car. But the i3 is really only for a single person or a couple who sticks close to their city. Fun to drive though!
        Rotation
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Barry Hubris
        I'm with you. The interior looks like poop, especially the highest-end one (Giga, as all early deliveries will have). And the center stack controls might look like the ones on a 3-series, but they don't feel like it. The seats are pretty to look at though, the only thing that makes the interior not look like it's from an economy car. The backseat is okay, compare it to a LEAF or such and it's okay. It's not great. I thought the ride kind of stunk too. Rocks too much over bumps due to the short wheelbase. Definitely better to drive than my LEAF, but it falls short of run IMHO. It's peppy, but it doesn't feel like a sports sedan. It's still leagues from a 3-series or my CTS.
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          The fully loaded models also have the 20" wheels. The 19" wheels are rumored to ride better. I dont think anyone is expecting the i3 to drive like a sport sedan. I see this attracting the interest of current MINI owners more than BMW owners. Interior materials, interior volume and ride quality are already concessions MINI owners are willing to deal with. The i3 should have significantly lower operating costs than a turbocharged MINI, though.
          DarylMc
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          Hi Rotation It's good to hear from someone who has actually driven them. I will take your word on the ride but i3 wheelbase is only 5% less than Leaf. Maybe it is the extra 600lbs helping the Leaf ride smoother. If any of the trim looks scrappy I think it could be due to recycling concerns. I agree, it's not what you want to be reminded of when you purchase a new vehicle.
          Rotation
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          DarylMc: If you get a LEAF SL with the 17" wheels it has the same problem but worse, despite the longer wheelbase. I'd love to get a ride in the i3 with the 19" wheels, but there are none to be driven. All the demo models are 20" and the first ones to ship will be too.
      diffrunt
      • 8 Months Ago
      Does it really need the weirdness of design ?
      • 8 Months Ago
      I think they are seriously misjudging demand in the US, especially since they downgraded the gas tank to 1.9 gallons and the green CA PHEV stickers ran out.
        • 8 Months Ago
        The i3 with the range extender isn't an attractive package. The 'base' EV is, though. With the notable exception of an unknown tire cost, the i3 looks to be a fairly good value once you factor in the tax incentives and overall cost of ownership. It's certainly more attractive than a Leaf from a fashion and dynamic standpoint.
      Spec
      • 8 Months Ago
      I hope this statements are true and not just marketing bluster.
      korblalak
      • 8 Months Ago
      Smart move. EV's are catching on. Nowadays I can't turn my head without seeing a Tesla, a Leaf or a Volt.
      psarquis
      • 8 Months Ago
      Autoblog Green just reported 2 days ago that BMW increased production of the i3 to 100/day to meet demand -- http://green.autoblog.com/2014/04/23/bmw-ups-i3-production-meeting-demand/ I'm not looking forward to seeing this ritzy Prius all over Los Angeles. It looks to me like the ugliest Mini Cooper BMW has ever made.
        Joeviocoe
        • 8 Months Ago
        @psarquis
        Well, you linked the same page you commented on. Anyway, who cares what you find subjectively attractive. You are not buying it.
        Joeviocoe
        • 8 Months Ago
        @psarquis
        Well, you linked the same page you commented on. Anyway, who cares what you find subjectively attractive. You are not buying it.
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