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Official debut will be July 29

BMW has announced the official pricing for its first electric vehicle. The BMW i3 will have a starting price $41,350 in the U.S. That makes BMWs little electric car nearly 30% more expensive than a base 3-Series sedan. However, this news shouldn’t come as a shock since BMW hinted in May that the price of the vehicle would be around $40,000.

The starting price for the i3 in Germany will be €34,950, which works out to about $46,000. The car will be available in Germany starting in November, with U.S. availability early next year. The official debut for the i3 will be on July 29 at events held simultaneously in New York, London, and Beijing.

Bloomberg reports that BMW has invested $600 million in production facilities for the electric car. Among the facilities built specifically for this car are new factory in Washington State to make carbon fiber for the vehicle's passenger cell.
BMW also plans an interesting method of selling the electric vehicle. The automaker plans to sell the car on the internet, via sales people that visit customers at their homes, and through some select BMW dealers.

BMW i3 Prototype

The people at Autoblog recently drove the 2014 i3 for the first time at an autocross event in Germany. It appears that this will be a different sort of driving pleasure than most BMW enthusiasts are used to, with complaints of lots of body roll. The little car uses a 168 hp electric motor (184 lb-ft of torque) combined with a 22 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and BMW promises 124 miles per charge when driven in Eco Pro+ plus mode.

One complaint Autoblog had about the vehicle is that when closing the front doors the structure the vehicle sounded plastic-like and cheap, whereas BMWs are known for being premium automobiles.

Sources: Business Week, Autoblog

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By FITCamaro on 7/22/2013 9:43:45 AM , Rating: 5
It's ugly as sin.

RE: Umm....
By djcameron on 7/22/2013 9:55:02 AM , Rating: 2
More like butt-ugly.

RE: Umm....
By amanojaku on 7/22/2013 10:51:25 AM , Rating: 1
You and FIT... Some butts are pretty freakin' beautiful.

And how ugly would life be without sin? No booze, no fast driving, no hot sex...
I recently picked a new primary care doctor. After two visits and exhaustive Lab tests, he said I was doing 'fairly well' for my age. (I am in my mid 50s.)

A little concerned about that comment, I couldn't resist asking him, 'Do you think I'll live to be 80?'

He asked, 'Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer or wine?'

'Oh no,' I replied. 'I'm not doing drugs, either!'

Then he asked, 'Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?'

I said, 'Not much... my former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!'

'Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?'

'No, I don't,' I said.

He asked, 'Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?' 'No,' I said.

He looked at me and said, 'Then, why do you want to live to be 80?'
Do over, guys, do over.

RE: Umm....
By FITCamaro on 7/22/2013 12:09:12 PM , Rating: 3
I more of a butt man to begin with. And you can drink and gamble without sinning. It's all about excess.

RE: Umm....
By Samus on 7/23/2013 1:08:43 AM , Rating: 2
Damn Fit I always knew you were a powerbottom!


RE: Umm....
By FITCamaro on 7/23/2013 10:05:44 AM , Rating: 2
I like chicks with a nice round butt. Not a 12 year old boys ass.

RE: Umm....
By BillyBatson on 7/22/13, Rating: -1
RE: Umm....
By BillyBatson on 7/26/2013 6:01:45 PM , Rating: 1
Haters lol guess there are many transvestite fans on these forums

RE: Umm....
By djcameron on 7/23/2013 2:04:45 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, you're right. I should have been more specific... It's more like cottage cheese thighs ugly!

RE: Umm....
By GulWestfale on 7/22/2013 9:57:50 AM , Rating: 2
that didn't stop people from buying cayennes... the badge matters to them, not the actual looks or performance.
i agree with you, it's uuuugly, and at 41k, it's pricey. but, once again, it has the right badge for some people, so i think it might do well in the market.

RE: Umm....
By DukeN on 7/22/2013 10:26:33 AM , Rating: 4
I'm sorry but the Cayenne is a supermodel compared to this Dennis-Rodman-in-Drag abomination.

It's not a real Porsche but atleast it looks somewhat nice compared to most SUVs. This thing looks like a Hummer's turd.

RE: Umm....
By Reclaimer77 on 7/22/2013 4:35:02 PM , Rating: 2
Umm yeah I'm sorry but the Cayenne is defiantly NOT "butt ugly". It's one of the best looking SUV's you can get your hands on. Hello?

This BMW is just..WoW. Can someone explain this to me? What happened!?

RE: Umm....
By Monkey's Uncle on 7/22/2013 6:12:51 PM , Rating: 2
That cant be a beemer! It is way too fugly. Looks like their old designer retired and hired one that was fired from Fiat.

I mean 41K for that??!! Is that in U.S. dollars?
Must be a beemer - its priced like one.

RE: Umm....
By Spuke on 7/22/2013 11:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
And it looks just as horrible in person too. Saw one on the freeway last week (a lot of car testing where I live...I even saw the non-existent Accord diesel).

RE: Umm....
By Reclaimer77 on 7/23/2013 12:35:33 AM , Rating: 2
I can't believe I'm saying this, but who in their right mind would pick this over a Tesla S? Sure the BMW name carries more weight, but you're BMW! Why can't you make your electric car at least as sexy as this newcomer Musk can?

However there is one aspect we need to consider here. Automakers are basically being forced to develop EV tech for the upcoming mandates. And they know they basically lose money on every one sold. So why bother investing a lot of time and effort to make cars few people want to buy anyway?

So I guess in that light, this car makes perfect sense. Who goes to BMW to buy an EV in the first place?

RE: Umm....
By Keeir on 7/23/2013 9:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
Well... the cheapest Model S currently on the market set you back 70,000+. Since Model S's are selling -very- well for the price, Tesla has pretty much eliminated the sub 60,000 dollar model.

This BMW is going to start at ~40,000.
$30,000, better efficieny, and the much more "reasonable" dimensions could make a compelling case to someone just wanting to drive an electric.

A better comparison to this car is the Leaf. A fugly smallish hatchback that gets 75-125 miles electric. Does the BMW version bring enough to the table to make it worth the extra ~12,000 versus the Leaf? Maybe, but clearly on looks, power, and handling it does not...

I personally think the car is a huge mistake for the NA market. Its doesn't fit with
1.) American taste in cars
2.) BMW's brand image in the US
3.) Nor its it head and shoulders above the "competition"

Interesting how the price is similar to the Volt
By foxalopex on 7/22/2013 10:53:06 AM , Rating: 1
I find it interesting that this i3 costs about the same as what I paid for my Volt. ($42,000) after taxes / shipping and a government rebate in Canada. The Volt has a slightly smaller battery, slower 0-60 but unlike the i3, it has a significantly more powerful gas engine which means it can go cross country non-stop as long as you remember to put gas in it. The i3's range extender just extends the battery but at some point you will need to stop and charge because the gas engine isn't powerful enough to keep up with the demands of highway driving. And there are folks who claim the Volt is expensive. I think most folks don't realize how difficult it is to put together an EV that functions properly in all conditions.

Interestingly enough if you didn't care about range at all, I think the Spark EV which is based on the Volt's platform will probably outsell the i3. It's much cheaper.

RE: Interesting how the price is similar to the Volt
By Spuke on 7/22/2013 12:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
The range extender is optional (and really expensive) from what I understand.

By foxalopex on 7/22/2013 1:16:25 PM , Rating: 2
Yes the range extender to my understanding is a $2,000 upgrade. Unfortunately it only generates 34 hp, (volt generates ~80 hp) So basically it makes your battery last a bit longer (200 miles) but if it runs out, the engine alone can't really power the car properly. BMW was pretty specific in saying that it was not meant for long distance travel. It's best to see this car as a EV with an optional backup generator that gives you a bit more power.

By SublimeSimplicity on 7/22/2013 1:23:53 PM , Rating: 2
They also made the tank super small (less than 2 gallons) to qualify it as an electric vehicle by California HOV rules instead of a hybrid.

By Spuke on 7/22/2013 3:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for that info.

RE: Interesting how the price is similar to the Volt
By Mint on 7/22/2013 4:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
34hp should be plenty to power the car for everything except prolonged uphill runs. If BMW has any brains at all, they'll use the generator to maintain a reserve of maybe 20% in the battery, so that during passing the battery will drain down a couple percent and during braking/cruising it will fill back up.

Full performance should be maintained. 25-30hp is enough to meet the average load on the highway.

By foxalopex on 7/22/2013 5:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
BMW specifically stated that the engine is meant to be used in emergencies to get to the next outlet and NOT for long distance travel so unfortunately it cannot be used on continuous long trips.

I suspect I know why, a typical car needs around 20 hp to cruise on the highway but this won't help you in passing / acceleration and hills. Cars like the Volt fall back on the battery pack to provide assistance. The Volt even has a special mountain mode that reserves half the battery for such use. I doubt the gas engine will be efficient in the i3 because it is in series only. There are serious losses in converting power to electricity and then back into motion. This is why the Volt at times can directly drive the wheels using the gas engine and electrical motor in parallel. It's simply more efficient. I suspect in the i3 since it is an "emergency" folks won't care so much about mpg.

To work as an indefinite range extender BMW probably needs a bigger gas engine with a bigger gas tank. (2 gallons is too small) but that would've added weight which probably would affected 0-60 and agility. If you compare the Volt and i3, basically the i3 is more agile and speedy while the Volt can drive in more situations than the i3 can. I believe this is the trade-off between the two.

By Keeir on 7/22/2013 9:06:15 PM , Rating: 2
The problem here Mint is your assuming the following

34 hp gasoline = 34 hp electric.

Unless someone has more information, the following is what I thought I knew

The engine used for range extension is capable of ~60 hp/45 kW at -7500 rpm! Wonder what its like to have a motorcycle engine suddenly spin up that much? Certainly this type of rpm is probably not acceptable for long road travel without lots of noise/vibration control... which adds wieght.

My guess is they have significantly limited the rpms to save wieght and that your lucky to get 20 kW out of the motor... and then lucky to get 17 kW plus to the wheels. While this might work on a cool 65 degree day at 60 mph on a flat road, in most other conditions your likely average power drain would be greater. Not sure what use is a tank that likely gives you ~50-60 miles of range in ideal conditions when its completely full.

By lelias2k on 7/24/2013 6:04:38 PM , Rating: 2
I was a Volt specialist and I pointed out numerous times here how great that car is. But people prefer to make their own minds based on what others say rather than to try it out themselves.

By BillyBatson on 7/22/2013 10:30:51 AM , Rating: 3
I am a huge BMW fan, the last one I owned was a 2010 328 coupe. This i3 is so incredibly ugly and over priced it most likely won't sell very many here in the states. My coworker has a 1series all electric and though it is farrrr more attractive than the i3 it is honestly a piece of turd when it comes to performance/price.
BMW should stick with diesels for now and concentrate on future electric SUV's since they would see more sales of those than 1, 3, and i3 series electric variants.

RE: Blah.
By Pneumothorax on 7/22/2013 1:47:05 PM , Rating: 3
I think this car was invented solely for the PR and to raise CAFE that is going to hit premium car makers like BMW especially hard in 2016 as they don't have a 'lower-class' division to sell the cheap high MPG cars with. Example: Lexus CAFE numbers are lumped in with Toyota, given Lexus an advantage in meeting CAFE.

Here's what none of you are understanding
By flyingpants1 on 7/23/2013 6:34:53 AM , Rating: 2
Here's what you're all misunderstanding about the look of the BMW i3. It's attempting the perfect vehicle body from a weight, materials cost and efficiency point of view, especially important for an EV.

This is blatantly obvious if you look at the i3 from the side. BMW simply took a normal sedan and cut off everything in front of the front wheels (no need for a front engine compartment), and everything behind the rear wheels (no need for a gas tank or huge trunk - small hatchback design). No need for superfluous materials or weight. This is probably the lightest they could make it. Oh, plus it's made of plastic and carbon fiber.

It looks like one of those concept designs that never made it. Head-turner for sure. Some people just like to talk trash, but if you saw one in person (especially in that color) your eyes would be locked.

I think it's ugly too by today's standards, but I'm willing to look past fashion for the sheer brilliance of the design. I know most of you are over 40 and very set in your ways due to an aging brain, but give this i3 a chance.

The range extender thing comes down to the implementation. If it really only costs $2,000 and I can recharge my car constantly while driving, the sun may be setting early on Tesla.

By Monkey's Uncle on 7/23/2013 10:05:27 AM , Rating: 2
One thing they forgot in this perfect vehicle body. Aerodynamics.

Sure if the thing won't go faster than about 40 MPH, they wouldn't have to worry about that. But as anyone who has ridden a motorcycle on the highway knows, wind resistance at highway speeds (60 MPH+) can push on you/your vehicle pretty damn hard.

If you want to take this misshapen lump of metal/plastic to highways speeds, aerodynamic drag will require twice the power to overcome than a vehicle that can slice through the air with half the drag. That directly relates to battery range. Even their piddly excuse for an 'extender' won't help that.

I am shocked that someone with BMW's performance background would even design something this backward. It is just not like them.

By flyingpants1 on 7/23/2013 12:39:32 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed about the aerodynamics. That's the one flaw and it's a pretty big one..

Tesla Power Train?
By danjw1 on 7/22/2013 10:47:50 AM , Rating: 2
Is this the car that they licensed the Tesla power train for?

People are commenting on the looks, but I am more put off by the fact that is doesn't look to be very aerodynamic.

RE: Tesla Power Train?
By BillyBatson on 7/22/2013 12:12:33 PM , Rating: 3
A Prius doesn't look aerodynamic at all but can cut through air better than most sport cars.

BMW knows it wont sell well here
By Chaser on 7/22/2013 12:27:31 PM , Rating: 2
Ever been to Europe and seen all the tiny Skodas, Fiats and even Fiestas parked street side single file with almost less that an inch? This is just a BMW for them, but BMW will probably make them available in limited numbers for the random American that may want one.

By Monkey's Uncle on 7/23/2013 9:54:24 AM , Rating: 2
I can't see anyone in North America paying $41K+ to buy one when they have a much better looking options available.

Focus EV
Prius EV
Hell, even the frigging Leaf looks better.

No, I think BMW would be best served to restrict sales of these to Europe where folks wont be quite as put off by its looks. I doubt they will find any North American buyers.

Very ugly
By rountad on 7/22/2013 1:55:01 PM , Rating: 3
Reminiscent of the abomination known as the Pontiac Aztec :(

By SublimeSimplicity on 7/22/2013 10:39:32 AM , Rating: 2
This car is a change in just about every respect to what BMW currently does. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic body, electric drivetrain, geared completely towards fuel efficiency (over performance and looks). For that reason, the designer was probably put in a corner and told to work around the engineer's whims instead of the other way around. On top of that, the designer is going to take all the heat for the end result.

I anticipate the next revision will look a lot better, since the engineering aspects will be better understood going in.

By btc909 on 7/22/2013 12:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
Nice paint colors but look what that paint is sprayed onto. Couldn't even manage 4 doors? I thought the Volt was bad in it's general design and brain dead Cruze / Delta II platform, this takes the crown. These are 42K'ish to start and that doesn't include the gas motor which you pretty much need to have to drive any decent distance. True the battery would be used most of the time but the times when you need to go somewhere & get back you'll need the gas extension.

The photos don't due this thing justice as to how small this thing is.

By tng on 7/22/2013 1:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
...the people at Honda and Nissan are laughing their heads off over the price and look of this thing.

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