Leaked images of the much awaited BMW i3 hatchback, have gone viral on the inter web just a few days prior to its global launch. The car, the first mass production electric car by the Bavarian based auto manufacturer was first unveiled two years ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
We had earlier written about the technical specification of the car and the images released now gives a more complete picture of the car. The extra-terrestrial aura of the prototype has been ditched for a more sane finish. The car features revised front bumper and a restyled light cluster. The boot lid gets a translucent finish with embedded tail light cluster and suicide door on the rear.
The futuristic look has however been kept on the inside with sharp lines and innovative materials. The console flaunts electronic gadgetry mimicking one of the Star Trek episodes. The interiors highlight two digital displays; the iDrive and instrument cluster.
The rear wheel drive i3 is powered by a stern mounted electric motor and not a meaty petrol burner. It develops 172PS of power and 249Nm of torque and the driving range on a single charge of the lithium-ion battery is between 128 and 160 km. It comes with an optional range-extending twin-cylinder gasoline engine will help lift that figure to around 300km.
The global launch will happen simultaneously across New York, London and Beijing. An Indian launch is unlikely any time soon as past hybrids like the Honda Civic and Toyota Prius were not received warmly by our market. An eventual change in mind set and infrastructure will see the launch of cars like the i3 and the Nissan Leaf in India, but for now that looks like a distant future.