Advantages: The research and development work carried out since 2007 as part of project i has laid the foundations for sustainable mobility solutions influenced by environmental, economic and social change around the world. BMW i3 is the world’s first premium car designed from the ground up to be powered by an electric drive system.

The result is hallmark BMW driving pleasure, delivered with zero emissions and an engaging intensity unmatched by any other electrically powered vehicle.

Disadvantages: The i3 follows an estimated $2.7 billion investment programme by BMW so its recent launch may be a high point for the world’s biggest luxury carmaker and the electric car fraternity but reports indicate that consumers are staying sceptical about electric vehicles due their cost and their driving range.

With the i3 starting at almost €35,000, a considerable sum above the base version of the company’s best-selling 3-Series, this could be a challenging buy for many consumers looking for a long ride on a comparatively cheaper vehicle.

Summary: The BMW i series is being looked at as "a true halo project for BMW," says Henner Lehne, Frankfurt-based analyst with IHS Automotive, as quoted on Reuters. "If it succeeds, it will firm up BMW's lead on innovation." He is spot on.

New BMW I3 Review:

The BMW i3 – the first series-produced model by BMW i – is the first BMW Group model running on electric power encapsulating totally new and groundbreaking ways to experience driving pleasure, sustainability and connectivity on city roads.

The BMW i3’s innovative vehicle concept includes a passenger compartment made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). Its driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW Connected Drive and the 360° Electric services are all specially developed for BMW i.

The electric motor powering the BMW i3 can generate a maximum output of 125 kW/170 hp and peak torque of 250 Newton metres (184 lb-ft). Its instantaneous power flows to the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission.

The motor sources its energy from lithium-ion storage cells integrated into the car’s underfloor section.

The significantly lower centre of gravity of the i3 – the result of the low, central placement of the battery units – and even weight distribution make an additional contribution to the car’s agile handling.

The battery gives the car a range in everyday conditions of 130 – 160 kilometres (81 – 99 miles) when fully charged from a conventional domestic power socket, BMW i Wallbox or public charging station.

View the latest 2013 BMW I3 Deals

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