Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Spy Photos Reveal New Details

Original i3 spy photo- Boxy look
Recent photo - Much more sleek

New spy photo's of the i3 clad in the usual blue swirly camouflage have surfaced on the internet. They clearly show a body that is more like the i3 concept BMW revealed in comparison to the early spy photos from last year. 

The production i3 will obviously lose the glass roof and doors that the concept i3 had however the overall shape seems mostly intact. The new photos also show the side wind diffusers similar(though not as pronounced) to the concept i3 on the lower side skirts between the wheels whereas the original i3 spy photos showed a straight line between the wheel wells.

One noticeable difference from the i3 concept is the smaller rear door. It's clear that the production i3's rear door ends short of the rear wheel well, while the concept's rear door extended to nearly halfway through the wheel well. The wheel wells are also smaller on the production i3 which is no surprise because most concept vehicles are shown with over sized wheels for a dramatic visual effect.

The rear looks very similar to the concept other than the fake rear lights meant to disguise the cars true look. It's also clear to see the "Stream Flow" signature trait that will be found on all the i cars. The sides of the cars will have two horizontal lines that sweep down the side of the car from the front to the rear where they converge into the C pillar. This streaming signature style is meant to represent streaks of air flowing down the side of the car while it is in a wind tunnel.

I'm happy to see the i3's progress is keeping with the concept as much as possible. Most people I talked to that saw the i3 in person liked what they saw but wondered if BMW would stray too far from the concept in in order to make the car affordable and practical. With the outside mostly in tack, the next questions are: Will they be able to pass the NHSTA crash testing without a B-pillar? and will BMW dare to use a bench seat for the front seats as the concept had? Hmmm.


  1. Has there been any indication of the price? What is the battery size?

  2. Hi Bill: All BMW has announced about the price is that it will "cost less than a 5 series" Which puts it in the mid 40's before ant tax credits or state incentives. They haven't officially announced the battery size but its been widely acknowledged that they will be using a 22kWh pack