While there has been much drooling and envious glares cast at the $135,000 BMW i8 hybrid sports car, the Bavarian brand’s more-important electric car has quietly begun production in Germany. Priced at a comparatively-modest $42,275, the BMW i3 is the less-glamorous of the two, but it will be the car to decide BMW’s future EV plans.
Boasting a body that utilizes carbon fiber-reinforced polymer panels and an all-electric range of 125 miles, the BMW i3 will also come with an optional range-extender for another $2,000. The German EV also has an impressive 168 horsepower and 184 ft-lbs of torque, allowing the peppy electric car to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in about 7 seconds.
U.S. sales are slated to begin this January, giving BMW about four months to market their first commercial electric car, while the BMW i3 will begin European sales in November. An i3 will lead the Berlin Marathon at the end of September, and Bimmer has invested about $600 million into its Lepzig factory, adding 800 jobs including some at a BMW assembly plant in Wisconsin. Going a step further into the 21st century, BMW will even employ robotic “salespeople” to help market and sell the i3 electric car.
It won’t be long before the first reviews of the BMW i3 roll out, and we get to see if the German’s really have hit an electric home run.