BMW i3 Coupe Concept Unveiled Ahead Of LA Auto Show


Though BMW has yet to officially begin selling its i-brand of electric vehicles, the German automaker isn’t done teasing consumers with cool EV concepts. Behold the latest pure electric vehicle, the BMW i3 Coupe Concept. The i3 Coupe Concept will make its official debut later this week at the L.A. Auto Show.

Turns out the rumors were true, and the BMW i brand is getting another addition. Details are few and far between, but this is what BMW is talking about so far. The BMW i3 Coupe Concept is based on the BMW i3, BMW’s first foray into an electric city car.

Like the standard i3, the i3 coupe sends power to the rear wheels via a one-speed transmission. With maximum output of 170 horsepower and 184 ft-lbs of torque, the BMW i3 Coupe Concept should prove a peppy, if not exactly fast ride. Some say that BMW’s foray into front-wheel drive is foolhardy, and if you ask me the i3 Coupe Concept is better served with rear-wheel drive.

BMW also went ahead and gave the i3 Coupe Concept a lower, more aggressive look to differentiate it from its four-door cousin. Add to that a warm orange paint job and sustainable sourced interior materials like leather, wood, and wool. There has also been talk of an optional range-extender to give the pure EV more versatility as an everyday driver. When BMW does start selling its i-brand EVs, it will try its hand at selling them online at a lower price.

I’m liking what I am seeing in the BMW i3 Coupe Concept, but how about you?
Source: BMW

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • Jason Carpp

    Nice looking car. Hopefully it’ll make it to the United States.

  • I remain skeptical of the pure electric car in the American market. We the People like to amuse ourselves with the notion that we could chuck it all, climb out of our rut and drive to the Coast – east or west, take your pick – any time we want. Gasoline is available everywhere and it only takes 10 minutes or less to fill the tank. The future is wide open, as Tom Petty says!

    OK. Most of us will never actually tell our boss to “Take this job and shove it!” and head out on the road, but we still like to go skiing or hit the beach or visit relatives in another state whenever the mood hits us. A “city car” is just not part of our thought process when it comes to plunking down our hard earned cash for a transportation module.

    As my friend Jason likes to say, what’s wrong with having a small diesel, constant speed engine tucked away somewhere to shoot some juice to the battery when needed? The idea that we can drive anywhere, anytime as long as we have money for fuel is part of the American psyche. Maybe today’s home boys who live in Mom’s basement and think social interaction involves playing WarCraft with their friends online will be content with a pure electric. But for the rest of us, this car is the answer to a question nobody is asking.

    And that goofy rear window design looks like a Golden Retriever’s droopy eye. It’s different, but is that enough?

    • Jason Carpp

      I know what you mean. I like its styling, but skeptical would be putting it mildly when it comes to driving an all-electric car. I wouldn’t mind a gasoline-electric hybrid car, or a diesel-electric car. I’ve ridden in both. But a completely electric car? You’re going to have to convince me that it works, and works reliably.

      • Bill Berndt

        The issue isn’t whether or not it will work. It does work. The issue is in understanding where this car fits into the picture. As an urban car, commuting car and second car in a family, it’s terrific. I’ve had four EV’s in my past and present and I know exactly what I can and can’t do when I drive electric. I’ve also gone over three months without having to go to a gas station other than to put air in my tires or wash the windshield. No emissions, extremely fun to drive and lower operating costs all around… it works for me.

        These electric vehicles, even with incentives, are still more expensive due to current battery technology and absolutely NO economies of scale for the manufacturers. But I’m an early adapter. I’m the guy that will pay more in the beginning of a product cycle so that others down the road can benefit if there truly is a breakthrough in technology. Without people willing to take that step, we’d all be losing out in the long run. For me, I embrace change as I understand that such change is sometimes beneficial in many ways.

        The push back from the general public is “it won’t work for me.” Well, it won’t for some people. Much like a cramped two seater sports car won’t work for some, or a gas guzzling SUV won’t work for others. But this technology works, and it can actually work for many folks once the price point is met and true cost/benefits are analyzed for each individual interested in lowering their long term operating costs of a vehicle and doing some good from an emissions point of view… and again, these cars are very fun to drive.

        So while I understand the resistance, I’m just asking people to keep an open mind. Again, like most things in life except food, water and sleep, it’s good for some and not so good for others. But there is definitely a place for this technology.

        • The issue seems to be one of reliability – and not in the “will it break down” sense. If I drive home form work, and my kid suddenly has a reaction to dinner or gets hurt and I need to rush him to the ER, my gas powered car will typically have enough juice in it to go another 5-10 miles at max velocity. An electric? Maybe. After a long commute to work without access to a charger? Maa-aybe. After a long commute to work without access to a charger in the dead of winter? Maa-aaa-aybe.

          See the problem? I do.

          • Bill Berndt

            I understand your concerns. I’ve got two kids that I run to school, practices, the mall to meet friends, out to dinner, etc. I can tell you from my personal experience that I have very little problem because I rarely drive over 60 miles in a day. I know my limitations and do a better job than ever fitting a couple errands together. I have a pretty good handle on when and where to charge and know the public charging infrastructure in my local area. With the apps available today and the services offered by the public chargers, you can pretty much run your EV life with your smart phone.

            Does it take some work to get a system in place? Sure, but now that I have worked out the bugs, it is almost seamless. As I wrote previously, an EV is not for everyone. However, my commute is about 13 miles one way. I can run a couple errands at lunch and still have juice left for a couple more when I get home from work. I also can charge when I get home from work through dinner so I get another two hours of charge (20 plus miles). Again, rare is the day that I need more than 60 miles of charge… so it totally works for me.

            In full disclosure, I do have a gas powered car as a back up. As a single father, I need that for flexibility with no mom’s car in the family. However, it’s been a little over three months since I’ve been to a gas station… about 3,650 miles of clean, inexpensive and fun driving.


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