-The 3 Series electric will use a less powerful motor than the forthcoming i4 four-door coupe
- The model is likely to be launched in 2022
The Bavarian carmaker has begun testing the electric variant of the 3 series at its test facility outside Munich in Germany. The prototype looks exactly like the regular 3 Series but is covered partly in camouflage with ‘Electric Testing Vehicle’ stickers on the doors.
The front of the test mule looks identical to the 3 Series with its signature kidney grille blanked for improved aerodynamics and less cooling requirement. The side profile of the car resembles the current generation sedan with slightly upward pushed doors to accommodate the under-floor battery pack, electric vehicle labels and two different design for alloy wheels. Moving to the back, the most noticeable change are the missing exhaust tips indicating at an EV.
There are no specific details available with respect to the interiors but we expect it to borrow the overall design and layout from the latest 3 Series. Now, the powertrain on this zero-emission electric sedan is likely to be drawn from the recently unveiled iX3 SUV which generates 282bhp power from a 74kWh battery pack and a WLTP test cycle of 440kms. The company might want to rethink upon the name it chooses for this model as it already has an ‘i3’ hybrid hatchback which is still in production.
Interestingly, BMW had also unveiled a four-door coupe ‘i4’ concept at the 2018 Geneva Motor show which is likely to go into production in mid-2021 and compete against the Tesla Model 3 and other mid-size EV sedans. The i4 is expected to be equipped with a bigger 80kWh battery pack generating over 500 bhp.
Earlier this week, BMW had also unwrapped the production-ready model of its flagship electric SUV, the iX under the new sub-brand iNEXT which will form the basis for all the future electric vehicles of the company. For more details on BMW’s flagship eSUV, click here.