Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is This The Production BMW i3?

Autoblog scored some spy photo's of the BMW i3. The car is noticeably different from the original spy photo's that were taken last year of the car during cols weather testing. This looks VERY close to the concept i3 which is definitely good news.

At last weeks LA Auto Show, Richard Steinberg told George Parrot, reporting for Greencarreports that the concept i3 is “95 percent final” as compared to the production version. These photo's would seem to concur. The one obvious difference I can see is the doors. The concept had much larger doors that extended all the way into the wheel wells. The car in this photo clearly has smaller doors that do not extend to the wheel wells. Also, the rear "coach" doors do not have a handle so apparently they can only be opened once the front door is open, much like the MINI Clubman (and my Toyota Tacoma extended cab pick up).

Fake "Hybrid" badge on ActiveE
What Autoblog also reported was that they believe the car is fitted with the range extender (REx) option. I disagree. I think it's the pure BEV version. I see no sign of a tailpipe and the single reason they gave for this conclusion was that the car has badges that say "Hybrid Test Vehicle" That means nothing. When BMW was testing the ActiveE it had the same badges and that isn't a hybrid. I think BMW puts that on cars to confuse spy's and it worked!

Whether it is the BEV version or the REx version it really doesn't matter. What's important here is this proves the car will look very similar to the concept i3 and that's good news. The i3 that was photographed last year during testing look too boxy, this has much smoother lines. Can't wait to see it without all the camouflage! Here's some more pictures:

1 comment:

  1. It does look like the concept. Lets hope it also does under the psychedelic body wrap. I've seen some really great concept cars get turned into duds by the time they hit production