BMW to show new i3 Concept in Paris


September 16, 2012

BMW i3 Concept

BMW i3 Concept

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BMW will present a new version of its i3 Concept electric vehicle at the Paris Motor Show later this month. This time around, BMW is emphasizing its holistic approach to sustainability by focusing not just on the all-electric drivetrain and extensive use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) to reduce weight, but on the renewable materials employed to put the finishing touches on the high-tech interior.

As examples of an interior design that's "consistently geared towards sustainability" BMW points to the i3 Concept's eucalyptus dashboard which is from a sustainable source in Europe (meaning freight distances are kept short) and to the use of natural fibers like wool and a leather tanning agent extracted from olive leaves.

We're not sure that the interior trim will be garnering the most interest in Paris though. More likely to turn heads is the striking use of (lots of) glass, opposing doors, non-existent center-tunnel and high-tech gadgetry, which includes and 8.8-inch Central Information Display, a 6.5-inch "instrument cluster" and a third screen to take care of the audio and air conditioning functions.

BMW is also embracing the concept of dual mode transport with the inclusion of staorage space in the rear for two its folding i Pedelec Concept bikes.

Like the original concept study shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011, the vehicle is built on BMW's LifeDrive architecture. This includes the Life Module passenger cell made from carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) which BMW says "achieves a whole new dimension in terms of weight, structural rigidity and crash safety" and in turn improves range.

And performance? The all-electric i3 packs 125 kW/170 bhp and 250 Nm of instantly accessible torque which BMW says will take it from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in under eight seconds with a top speed of around 150 km/h (93 mph). Battery charging takes six hours in a regular power socket and using a dedicated BMW "i Wallbox" a one hour, 80 percent charge is claimed.

The really interesting news is that this concept is getting close to reality – the BMW i3 is slated for serial production in 2013.

About the Author
Noel McKeegan After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007. All articles by Noel McKeegan

Any word about the range?

Matej Fotka

Also, any word on the i8?


A glass roof might be an attractive feature in cold climates but it won't be popular in sunny, tropical regions, where drivers seek shade from the scorching sun. That is, of course, unless BMW has incorporated some kind of sunscreen.


What happened to the VW 1L? 100km per litre. That sounds reasonable to me.

Mark A

The glass doors and roof won't make it to production, they will be carbon fiber reinforced plastic.

Range is stated to be 80-100 miles in everyday use. The official EPA rating will probably be about 90-95 miles per charge.

The "Battery charging takes six hours in a regular power socket and using a dedicated BMW "i Wallbox" a one hour, 80 percent charge is claimed" is based on European electric supply. In the US it will take about 3 hours while charging on a standard level 2 charger (30amp 240v).

Tom Moloughney

I also have two concerns: What are my chances on a side collision, and how am I suppose to get my burgers and fries and milk shake now when I go through the drive through now that I can't lower the my windows anymore.


Is it me or does this resemble the all time ugliest car, the Pontiac Aztek?


Ahhh the daily BMW story on gizmag. At least this one has something new to report and I like the incorporated bikes. Now lets see if they actually produce it. I don't think it looks like the Aztek at all.

The Hoff
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