About the 2014 BMW i3:
A new 4-passenger electric car from BMW, the 2014 i3 goes on sale in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2014 as the first model in the automaker’s BMW i sub-brand that will sell clean, green, ultimate driving machines. In addition to its electric drivetrain, the new 2014 BMW i3 employs renewable or recycled materials as much as is possible in order to maximize its conservation footprint, and employs manufacturing locations that use wind and hydroelectric power. Prices start at just over $42,000 before applying any federal, state, or local tax credits.
Once a BMW i3 customer has decided whether or not they want the car with a range-extending gasoline generator, there are three trim levels from which to choose.
The BMW i3 Mega World is the standard model. Upgrading to the BMW i3 Giga World adds fancier forged aluminum wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and dashboard, open pore Eucalyptus wood trim sourced from a certified responsible forestry, and seats covered in active-climate wool with olive-leaf tanned leather trim. This model also comes with satellite radio, a universal garage door opener, and Comfort Access keyless entry.
The BMW i3 Tera World is the top model, offering unique wheels, seats fully upholstered in olive-leaf tanned leather with handcrafted stitching, and textile cabin accents.
BMW i3 buyers can upgrade their cars with metallic paint, larger 20-inch aluminum wheels, and a variety of infotainment and safety technologies.
Engines and Transmissions:
A 170-horsepower electric motor powers the BMW i3’s rear wheels, fed electricity by a 22 kWh Lithium-ion battery that is also mounted in the rear of the vehicle. When driven in Comfort mode, the BMW i3 delivers between 80 miles and 100 miles of driving range, according to the automaker. Select Eco Pro, and range improves by 12%. In Eco Pro+ mode, range expands by 24%.
BMW also reports that the i3 accelerates to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, and can achieve a top speed of 93 mph. Using a 240-volt outlet, BMW i3 recharging time is 3 hours. Buy the optional SAE DC Combo Fast Charging unit, a bargain at $700, or use a public charging station of identical specification, and a full charge is available in 30 minutes.
For an extra $3,850, BMW i3 buyers can equip the car with a range-extending, 34-horsepower, 650cc gasoline engine. It holds 2.4 gallons of gas, and effectively doubles the distance that the i3 can travel before it needs to be recharged. BMW says the gasoline generator never directly powers the i3 wheels. Rather, it is used to maintain the battery pack at a minimum state of charge, similar to how a Cadillac ELR or Chevrolet Volt works.
Fuel Economy Ratings:
The EPA had not established an official MPGe rating for the new BMW i3 as this overview was written. The unofficial projection is 125 MPGe.
Crash-test ratings for the BMW i3 are not available as this overview is written. Constructed around a LifeDrive design philosophy, the BMW i3 is equipped with the first mass-produced Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) “Life Module,” or passenger cell, of any automobile, helping to contribute to a low base curb weight of about 2,635 pounds. The car’s platform, or “Drive Module,” is constructed of aluminum.
In addition to a premium audio system, the 2014 BMW i3 is offered with a Parking Package that adds a reversing camera, parking sensors, and a fully-automated parking assistant system. A Technology + Driving Assistant Package installs a navigation system with a range assistant, BMW Online and BMW Apps systems, and an active cruise control system with stop-and-go capability and an Active Driving Assistant system.
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