In a three-continent event today, BMW officially unveiled the all-electric i3.
Shown off in New York, London, and Beijing, the four-seat compact car marks the start of what the German automaker calls a “new era for individual mobility.”
That could open up the electric car market to drivers who want to drive a high-end car built by a luxury powerhouse, but hesitate to spend $70,000.
That move into a new niche has generated a lot of interest: BMW says it has already received 90,000 requests for test drives.
Wary of the reputation of compact electric cars as glorified go-karts, BMW promises “sheer driving pleasure” in the i3.
Range will max out at around 186 miles, but if the i3 is as fun to drive as BMW says — and there’s no reason to doubt this company’s ability to build fun cars — it could be a new kind of EV.
Fun, fast, practical, and pretty close to affordable.
Excellent torque — a major benefit of electric cars — will send the i3 from 0 to 62 mph in 7.2 seconds.
The i3 comes with an above-average range of 80 to 100 miles. An optional range extender (a small gasoline engine that increases battery power) brings that up to 160 miles.
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