|You want one of the first i3's in the US? You'll be getting the full leather Tera World interior as seen above and every option available besides the 20" wheels then. Welcome to the "Launch Edition i3"|
Just yesterday, BMW i dealers received a bulletin that informed them they can officially begin to process customer orders and place them in the pipeline. Many customers have already left deposits at their local BMW dealerships even though it wasn't an official order yet, with the hope of being one of the first people to take delivery of this revolutionary vehicle. However they didn't have an official order place in the system, that was just to have a place in line reserved for them and to make sure they got one of the few allotted cars their dealer would get for 2014. So now that these reservations can be turned into official orders, everyone must be really happy, right?
Not so fast. In a move that will most certainly anger many of the enthusiastic people waiting patiently for their i3, BMW informed the dealers that the initial first three months of US i3 production will be restricted to a special "Launch Edition" i3. The Launch Edition i3 has the top of the line interior Tera World and every option available on the car besides the 20" Sport Wheels which you can add if you would like. (Options include: Metallic paint, Parking Package, Technology and Drivers Assist Package, DC Quick Charge Option, Heated Seats and the Harman Kardon Premium sound system). The only choice the customer gets is whether or not they want the range extender, the exterior paint color and if they want the 20" Sport wheels. So unless the people waiting in like with deposits are willing to take a fully loaded Launch Edition i3, they will have to wait an additional three months for production of the custom ordered i3's to begin. The Launch Edition i3 production will run from March to May so custom ordered i3 production will not begin until June.
As expected this isn't sitting well with a lot of folks who have had deposits and reservations for many months now. I've had over a dozen people reach out to me today to confirm whether or not this was true after being notified by their dealer. Some thought the dealer was just trying to jack up the price of their car by making them get options they didn't want and were seeking clarification from me. I wish I could tell them it wasn't the truth, but this is how it's being done. The unfortunate thing is many people have expiring leases and planned to make due for a few weeks until their i3 came in but now the gap is more like 3 or 4 months and they don't know what to do. Should they bite the bullet and get an additional ~$4,000 of options they didn't necessarily want or wait till July for the i3 spec'd the way they ordered?
Here is the cost breakdown of the Launch Edition i3:
Tera world:ZTW: $2700.00
Parking Package:ZPK: $1000.00
Tech+Driving Assist:ZTD: $2500.00
Heated Front Seats:494: $350.00
DC Fast Charging:4U7: $700.00
If you want the range extender just add $3,850, so a Launch Edition i3 REx will set you back $54,725.
The only exception to this is ordering process is for the current ActiveE drivers like me. As a "thank you" for participating the the ActiveE trial lease program, BMW is allowing us to order our cars "a la carte" in addition to giving us the heated seats and DC quick charge options for free. BMW is also creating some unique features that only our cars will have like interior, exterior and door sill badging, embroidered front trunk liner and BMW i floor mats. Plus we get priority ordering and the first batch of i3's that come to the US will include our cars and we should begin receiving them the end of April. BMW is calling our cars the "Electronaut Edition i3" and these only be purchased by current ActiveE drivers. The ironic thing is, I ordered my i3 REx with the Tera World interior and every option available including the 20" sport wheels. So even though I had the freedom to build my car the way I wanted to that the other early i3 buyers won't have, I'm still getting the car loaded just like the Launch Edition anyway.
I'm sure this will elicit some interesting comments below.