|You get a better view of just how tall and thin the tires on the i3 are without the body in place|
One of the more talked about features of the i3 is its tires. Not for decades has there been a car with such tall and narrow wheels and tires. Since the 70's, the trend has been for tires to get wider and wider, and that is especially true for performance cars since more rubber on the ground generally means better roadholding.
|Performance is critical for any BMW|
"It’s not rocket science. All that matters is the size of the contact patch. The 19-inch tires may be skinny, but their tall height generates the same contact patch as a low-section 16-inch MINI tire".
|1) Standard Mega 19" #427 2) Tera World 19" #428 3) Giga World 19" #429 4) Optional 20" Sport #430|
So with the question of performance behind us let's focus on the tire and wheel sizes and combinations. BMW doesn't make it easy here. The standard wheel on the base Mega World interior is a BMW i Star Spoke (Style 427) wheel that is 19" x 5" on the front and rear and they use the 155/70 R19 84Q Bridgestone Ecopia EP600 all season tires that were specifically designed for the i3. Here is where is starts to get tricky. If you get a BEV i3 with the standard Mega trim, the wheels and tires are the same size on the front & rear, but if you get any other interior trim (Giga or Tera Worlds) the rear wheels are slightly wider (19" x 5.5") and the tires are wider and lower profile (175/60 R19 86Q). Also, if you get the standard Mega World trim but get the range extender, you also get the wider wheels and tires on the rears. Then there are the optional 20" Double Spoke sport wheels. They are also staggered in size and use Bridgestone Ecopia EP500 summer tires, not all-seasons. Up front you get 20" x 5" wheels and 155/60 R20 80Q tires and in the back there are 20" x 5.5" wheels and 175/55 R20 85Q tires.
|EP600's on left & winter tire on right|
|The 20" Sport #430 Wheels|
EDIT 2/18/14: Someone asked me if there are snow chains available for the winter tires and yes, they are available as an accessory from BMW
Photo credits to InsideEvs.