Saturday, August 24, 2013

i3 REx in US Spec Spotted at Pebble Beach

You can tell this is a US spec i3 by the red and orange reflectors on the edge of the wheel wells. Look at the previous pictures on this blog and you won't see the reflectors there because they were all European spec pre-production i3's
I've had people ask me if I had any high resolution pictures on an i3 in Laural Grey already but till now I didn't. there were a couple pictures out there of i3's with the partial camouflage in Laurus Grey but none since all the wraps have come off. So when I came across these pictures posted on Bimmerpost taken a couple days ago at the Pebble Beach Auto Show in California I grabbed them and figured I'd put them up here for those that want to see this color on a real car and not just on the online Visualizer.
The only thing I'm thinking about with this color is the details get hidden because everything looks nearly black. Another reason I need to see it on a car in person.
I happen to like this color a lot. In fact it may have escalated up to the top of my want list now but I still need to see all the colors on cars in person. Another thing people have asked me about is the blue stripe below the side doors. Can it be ordered in different colors? The answer is no it can't. All of the cars will have the "BMW i Blue" accent there, as well as on the inside of the double kidney faux grill in the front of the car with the exception of i3's ordered in Solar Metallic Orange. The accent color on Solar Orange is called "Frozen Grey Metallic". Unfortunately you cannot mix and match. I suppose the only option you'd have is to customize it yourself and have the pieces painted after you purchase the car if it really bothers you.

You can see the blue trim piece here below the carbon fiber door sill. It's much more visible when you open the door
The BMW i Blue grill really stands out when it's on a Laural Grey i3.

So if you really don't like the standard accent color on your i3 your only options are to repaint it or possibly apply a vinyl wrap - at your expense. I happen to think the trim colors look good, but that is obviously subjective. Actually, if I were to complain at all about the exterior colors, I'd wonder why BMW stuck so much grey scale. Other than the Solar Orange all the other colors are a shade of white to black with slivers and greys in between. The Solar Orange is the only real bold color and I think they could have been a little more creative there. How about borrowing a cool color from the M division?

The Frozen Grey Metallic accent on the Solar Orange i3's will look less prominent than the BMW i Blue will on the other cars in my opinion since it's not as bright of an accent


  1. Tom, I found an i3 video posted by BMW France with an Arravani Grey i3.


  2. Not sure how I feel about the bright blue contrast on the kidney grille. The side looks fine but the front looks a little too much. I suppose it would be an easy job to repaint it though. It might look nice in the inlay was the same grey as the car leaving the thin silver outer ring as is.

  3. Tom, I was about to ask why you referring to this as "US spec", but then on Facebook you said this:

    "[responding to charging interface query] This is a US spec pre-production car so I assume it has the J1772. You can tell it's US spec by the red (rear) and orange (front) reflectors on the side of the wheel wells. Look at the other pics we have here - no reflectors."

    OK, that's information that should be in the article above then.

    If this is indeed a preview of the US-spec i3, I am very disappointed to see the charge port remaining on the right side of the car for the US market. Recall that we've seen factory photos showing that they have structural cutouts in place to be able to route the charge port to EITHER side of the car. I will hold out hope that this pre-production unit just doesn't have the US-placing yet.

    Charge ports should be on the left. See my checklist for why this is important.

    1. Hi Chris, I think you and I talked about this already, right? I don't know if I told you or not previously, but yes indeed the cars chargeport and gas filler door will always be in the same place, regardless of the market.
      I agree that an ideal place would be front drivers side quarter panel, but that being said I've now had EV's for over 4 years and I honestly never, not once had a problem or felt inconvenienced by the location of the chargeport door. I never had a public charger that I couldn't reach and I've never even thought of it as something I wish was changed. I always back into my garage anyway and the chargeport is 5 feet from my EVSE. Still, I agree the perfect place in front left. However I think this is one of those things where you expect it to be annoying but then it turns out not to be.
      I did take a look at your checklist and it's pretty neat. I would have to say I agree with the vast majority of it (not everything though) and I think many perspective EV purchasers would also.

    2. @Chris C., German car companies put fuel filler doors on the right side to keep you safe if you breakdown. Done with the Autobahn in mind, they put it on the right side so if you run out of fuel you'd pull over to the shoulder and the filler door would be on the opposite side away from traffic.


  4. I always back into my garage, and a right-side, rear charge port is ideal for me. I hope they keep it that way -- although I'm waiting for the i3 Coupe.

  5. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like there are two doors on the passenger side. A front and rear one. I'm assuming that the gas was in the rear passenger side and the J1772 on the front passenger side (fumes and all) though I suppose I could have that reversed as other pictures show the car charging on the same place as the Active E.

    At the end of the day, I've had a few problems with the location (namely some Blink locations were the cords were too short and the parking spots were directional (namely the Grove in Los Angeles comes to mind).

    I like to back in to parking for a "quick" getaway...


    1. Dennis: The charge port is in the rear and the gas filler door is the one in the front.