The all-new 2014 BMW i3 is the first vehicle offered by the brand with zero emissions capabilities. The electric motors (170hp and 184 lb-ft of torque) range provides 80-100 miles of zero emissions driving, which can be increased by 12 percent in ECO PRO mode. A range-extender engine is also available that can maintain the batteries charge at a constant level while driving as soon as it dips below a specified value. This is done by a 650cc two-cylinder gas powered engine (developing 34hp). The range extender increases the range to about 160-180 miles. The i3 is claimed to go 0-60mph in about seven seconds.
Helping to optimize the long electric range is the use of lightweight parts (carbon reinforced plastic passenger cell) and part placement. The i3 weighs in at a claimed 2,630 and has near perfect 50:50 weight distribution due to battery placement.
Technology can be seen as a focal point for the i3. ConnectedDrive is available. Its main focus is seen through navigation and energy management services. For example, if a destination is entered into the navigation system, the Range Assistant will suggest using ECO PRO if the route is beyond the cars range and will calculate a more efficient route. When the vehicle needs to be charged, a list of charging stations will be displayed (charging to 80 percent takes about 20 minutes). And most important is the dynamic range display, which tells the driver accurate and up-to-date information on the car's range. Driving Assistant Plus, Parking Assistant, rear view camera and Speed Limit Info are all also available through connected drive.
The i3 is hooked up via smart phone through ConnectedDrive. This means that when the i3 is charging, you can control the supply of energy to be controlled from your phone. Air conditioning, heat, charging station location and the high-voltage battery pack can all be accessed via smart phone.
Also contributing to energy savings is the single-pedal control concept. This provides a recuperation mode, which is activated the second the driver lifts off the accelerator. The electric motor then switches from drive to generator mode, feeding power into the battery. All the while, a precisely controllable braking effect is generated, which is speed sensitive. This creates coasting with maximum efficiency at high speeds and strong braking at low speeds.
The 2014 BMW i3 will arrive late Spring 2014 and MSRP TBA