The BMW i3 caught being tested

The BMW i3 has caused a storm throughout the automotive press as it has been caught being tested.

Design toned down

The BMW i3 is said to be very close to its final production form. This means that the car has been heavily lightened down in terms of its future design, which we saw at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2011. It is expected that the BMW i8 will go through the same sort of toning down process as its production date nears.

This essentially means the upcoming BMW i3 will not have those spectacular see through doors, which made practical sense.

Size and weight

In terms of the type of vehicle it is and its dimensions, the i3 resembles that of the Mini One. Weighing just 1,270 kg, which is 265 kg more than the Mini One model, the car’s electric components means that the weight is not as light as some may have guessed. The lithium ion battery unit’s weight has not yet been clearly specified.

This will make it the smallest BMW vehicle ever however. In the boot there will be just 200 litres worth of storage space.

CFRP

The car is based around carbon fibre reinforced plastic, also known as CFRP. This will allow the vehicle to perform better on the road and enhance its economical attributes.  The main structure of the car will be made of aluminium. This platform may extend to other BMW models and group brands such as Mini. Dubbed as the ‘Life Module’, it is hoped that this will be generalised in order to save money and move the company forward in terms of meeting customer demands in an effective manner.

Electric power only

The car is made for urban driving as well as motorway driving, being agile and speedy as well as economical.  The car will be made with a standard plug in electronic adapter when it is sold in 2013. The car will require pure electricity only in order to operate, unlike the i8 which is a hybrid car containing both petrol and electric power.

The car will achieve a maximum of 168 BHP and 184lb ft or torque. This allows the i3 to hit 0 – 37 MPH in just 3.9 seconds and 0 – 62 MPH in just 7.9 seconds. This makes the performance of the car similar to the BMW 118d.