Friday, December 21, 2012

BMW i3 Photo's Emerge

It's been a few weeks since any new i3 spy shots have been published, but worldcarfans and carscoop blog have just brought us some recent pictures of a couple i3's with the REx range extender option taken in what appears to be Germany.
In these pictures you can see the lines of the headlights and body panels much clearer than the past spy photos.
 We also now know where the charge port and the fuel filler door will be for certain. Both are on the passenger side with the charge port in the rear and the gas filler door on the front quarter panel.

Even though BMW tried to hide the shape of the taillight, it's clear the concept i3's U-shaped taillight design made it to production.

The headlight lines are clearly defined for the first time.
Kinda looks like a Nissan LEAF from this view. Not a comparison I like to make. Hopefully we won't draw that comparison without the crazy camo-stickers all over.


  1. Getting closer!

    I downloaded the eight high-rez photos from the source and then enlarged them to see what the swirly blue was hiding. (Reading the camouflage is sort of like reading between the lines of someone who has signed a non-disclosure agreement.)

    What quickly became apparent (to my surprise) is that the production i3 four-door will look just like the concept coupe, complete with its art deco side window treatment. There was some cladding screwed to the front of the hood; from its shape, I surmised the production i3 will also get the concept coupe's hood and grille. At this point I went back and examined my collection of photos of the more heavily camouflaged test cars; in hindsight, it's possible they also had the coupe's side windows, but hard to tell.

    I suspect if the coupe version goes into production a year after the four-door, it will also look the same as the concept. However, coupe buyers are less likely to regularly carry passengers in the back seat; the scooped rear side window would not then have the same value as it might in the four-door i3. Obviously some people like the i3's unusual side window treatment, but it's equally apparent that others do not. It would therefore be useful for BMW to offer potential i3 buyers a different look for the coupe to attract a broader pool of customers (including me). As a suggestion of what that alternative design might be, I just did another (front-quarter view) photoshopped version of the i3 coupe, showing a lower profile grille and hood (and normalized side windows). This rendering can be seen here. (includes an all-blue version)

    I really like everything else about the i3 -- cutting-edge construction, size, shape, utility, single-pedal speed control, and the predicted great handling.

  2. I've done the same thing too with the high res images. It's amazing how much detail you can see if you take the time to study the pictures up close. It's not hard to tell what areas they are trying to obfuscate underneath.

    As for the windows I do expect some kind of unusual design, and not a normal streamlined look like you made. I was talking to a program manager about the windows over a year ago and was told some of the funky window designs in the concepts could be carried over to production.

  3. I agree with Chris. It really looks like BMW stayed true to the concept which is rarely the case.

    Now lets see them do that with the interior. The concept interior is beautiful and I hope they keep much of it for the real i3

    Bill in Seattle

  4. I'm really looking forward to this car and have been following your blog for a while now. It looks like a perfect fit for me when my Volt lease is up in March 2014. I just don't know if I want the range extender or not. I have driven the Volt 21,000 miles so far and only about 5,000 of those miles have been on gas. With roughly double the electric range I would have driven less than 1,000 miles on gas so the electric only i3 will handle 95% of my range needs. So I'd be getting the range extender for 5% of my needs. That's not a good return on investment. I'll definitely consider a car sharing service like Zip Car or a simple daily car rental for longer trips. Didn't you mention here somewhere that BMW is going to have a loaner program for i3 buyers?