The production version of BMW’s electric car, the i3, is set to be unveiled on July 29. The car was first officially displayed as a concept two year ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It will be the first mass production electric car by the Bavarian based auto manufacturer.
Through the first concept had an extra-terrestrial aura to it, the production version is more toned down and adopts revised bumpers, shorter rear doors and new light clusters on the front and rear. The i3 will house its power source at the rear and is a rear wheel drive, much like the Tata Nano. But the similarities end there. The i3 is powered by an electric motor and not a meaty petrol burner, and develops 172PS of power and 249Nm of torque. Its driving range on a single charge of the lithium-ion battery will be between 128 and 160 km, and comes with an optional range-extending twin-cylinder gasoline engine will help lift that figure to around 300km.
The i3 has a huge fan following in Europe with 100,000 requests already pending for first drives. BMW is expected to price the car at around 29,000 euros (Rs 22.65 lakh) in Germany and will go on sale later this year. An India launch will definitely be interesting. But judging from past hybrids like the Honda Civic and Toyota Prius, we still do not have the mind-set or the infrastructure to have an electric car, and for that very same reason, we feel it is highly unlikely that the i3 will see daylight in India atleast for now.