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It will be released in the U.S. during Q2 2014

BMW announced today that the electric i3 will go on sale in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2014.

The BMW i3 will have an abundance of features, such as three trim levels (Mega, Giga and Tera). It will also sport a 22-kilowatt, 450-pound lithium ion battery, which will provide power to a rear-mounted electric motor. The i3 packs 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, allowing the single-gear i3 to accelerate from 0-30 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds and 0-60 mph in about 7.0 seconds. However, its top speed is 93 MPH. 

The i3 has an electric range of 80-100 miles, and the battery can be charged with a standard system in about three hours. For those who need faster charging, there's the SAE DC Combo Fast Charger for a full charge in only 30 minutes. An optional 34-hp, 650cc two-cylinder generator can be added for additional range. 

The EV will also offer its LifeDrive architecture, which is the overall design of the vehicle through the Life Module and the Drive Module. The Life Module is the first mass-produced monocoque made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), and it's 30 percent lighter than aluminum for an overall weight of 2,700 pounds. The Drive Module, on the other hand, is an aluminum chassis placed under the Life Module, and it contains parts like the battery. 

"The new all-electric BMW i3 is a landmark in BMW's mission to provide a completely sustainable, electric vehicle that still stays true to the Ultimate Driving Machine moniker," said BMW. "The BMW i3 is the first product of the new BMW i sub-brand, and is a truly purpose built electric car. It's a new era for electro mobility at BMW."

The i3 will have a price tag of $41,350 when released in the U.S. during Q2 2014. 

Source: BMW

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RE: Getting better
By Mint on 7/29/2013 8:25:55 PM , Rating: 3
This is a BMW. It costs more than the Leaf for the same reason a 3-series costs more than an Altima.

RE: Getting better
By Spuke on 7/30/2013 1:32:14 AM , Rating: 2
Except a 3 series is a WHOLLY better car than an Altima. It remains to be seen whether the i3 will be that much better than a Leaf.

RE: Getting better
By Mint on 7/30/2013 12:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
We already know it's 2 seconds faster 0-60, and it weighs 600lbs less. It carries the BMW badge, and they're not going to dilute the brand with poor handling, especially when BMW chose 19" wheels standard and EVs have that nice low center of gravity. Ditto for features and materials.

That pretty much sums up the 3-series advantages over an Altima, IMO, so I think the comparison is pretty apt. Is it "that much better"? Well, plenty of people see the BMW premium as a collosal waste of money.

RE: Getting better
By Spuke on 7/30/2013 4:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
I take it you've never driven either car. Other wise you wouldn't make that statement. I have many times. They're an order of magnitude different with the 3er vastly better in most every way. Not saying the Altima isn't a nice car but it definitely is not a 3 series.

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