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BMW's first electric car nears production reality

Presented with single-colour burnt orange bodywork, it’s the biggest hint as to what the production version will look like. Smaller than a 1 Series, the original i3 concept’s transparent doors and blue-accented paintwork haven’t been carried forward to the i3 Coupe Concept, but the carbon fibre construction has been retained.

Inside, there’s seating for four passengers in a close to production-ready interior. Its new BMW i ConnectedDrive infotainment system shows range on the satellite navigation map, advising which drive mode to select and allowing the driver to reserve charging stations from the display. Charging can be controlled remotely using a smartphone app.

The i3 uses a 170bhp electric motor to power the rear wheels, supplied by a lithium ion battery mounted under the cabin floor for a low centre of gravity. Driver-selectable modes, including the familiar ECO PRO mode found in conventionally-powered models, can boost the range by up to 20%, according to BMW. 

Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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