Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The i3 Concept Coupe Stars in Geneva

Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management, BMW AG, addresses the media in front of the i3 concept coupe'
There has been a lot of prognosticating on the interwebs lately in regards to what BMW will have to say about the upcoming i3 at the Geneva Motor Show. Some have speculated they will unveil the actual production i3 while others have guessed BMW will simply offer a little more information, just enough to keep us interested without disclosing too much.

Well, BMW didn't reveal the production i3 (which is looking more and more likely to happen in Frankfurt in September) but the chairman of the Board of Management, Dr. Norbert Reithofer, did have this to say to the media today as he addressed the media in front of the i3 Concept Coupe':

Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to the BMW Group!

This is what individual mobility of tomorrow looks like
and we will bring it to the road – as early as this year. This stands to show that we don’t just talk the talk. We walk the walk – because we are convinced that e-mobility is the technology of the future. We all know how the world is changing. In megacities, the car can only have a future if we take the right steps to lead it from low-emission to zero-emission technologies today. We strongly believe that sheer driving pleasure will also work without emissions.

The BMW i range offers a broad range of possibilities. What you can see here in Geneva is a variant of the BMW i3 – the BMW i3 Concept Coupe.

And I can tell you this much: Many of the components used for this Coupe are close to the series vehicle. This model highlights the great dynamics of the fully-electric BMW eDrive technology. Just like the BMW i3, the Coupe offers a maximum output of 125 kW or 170 hp. This e-drive is an in-house development – which is what customers expect from a company called Bayerische Motoren Werke AG. The underbody is fitted with lithium-ion batteries that provide the power to the e-drive.

We believe that customers will decide to buy an e-car if they receive compelling offers. Still, success is not guaranteed. But I am an engineer, and as such I know that technical progress and pioneering work require a daring approach. At the BMW Group, we have tackled the issue of e-mobility from a holistic perspective, and let me add: more so than any other automaker.

This means:

A completely new vehicle concept, consisting of Life and Drive modules.
New materials such as CFRP.
Sustainable production.

The media will have the opportunity to test-drive the BMW i3 this fall. I have already driven it quite a few times, and let me tell you: Cruising the city in this agile and noiseless sprinter is, without a doubt, sheer driving pleasure. Unfortunately, our stage is too small; otherwise, I would be happy to give you a little demonstration on the spot. Thank you very much to the BMW i3 Concept Coupe!

The BMW i range is one example of the foresight that we have at the BMW Group. We aim to provide our customers once and again with innovative solutions and attractive services, which meet their individual demands and offer them additional benefits. Proof of this is the vehicle we would like to present to you next.

So now I think we have a more defined timeline. Here is how I think it will proceed:

-Between now and the Frankfurt Auto Show in September we will continue to get little bits and pieces of i3 information, just enough to keep everyone interested and media satisfied. An occasional journalist will get to drive in one, but not for a comprehensive review.

-The production i3 is introduced in Frankfurt including specifications and pricing. 

-The media will get full access to drive and review them in October.

-European sales begin in November and US sales start in January. 

Do you agree? Post your thoughts below in the comment section.


  1. I hope BMW doesn't hold off showing us the car until September. Pretty disappointing if they do :(

  2. Tom, I think you're spot on. One prediction missing though - when (if ever) will they allow for "hand-raisers" to get in line and put down a deposit? Thanks for all your hard work - us i3 fanatics really appreciate it!

    1. Hi Chris,

      BMW hasn't officially announced a pre-ordering process, but for what it's worth I expect they will have one. I would think shortly after Frankfurt we will get the details. If you live in Germany, you can already reserve a place in line for one and I have heard they are starting to allow it in other countries also, but not the US. We'll likely get it a couple months after Europe anyway.

      I'm sure there will be dealers willing to take deposits for i3's here in the US and sit on your money for you, but I wouldn't recommend doing that. There won't be a big supply issue, BMW will have the capacity to make as many as needed at the launch so don't worry about having to wait months for one. You know I'll post any pre-ordering information here as soon as BMW releases it so stay tuned(But I don't have to tell you that!)

  3. what happened to the 4 door? only a coupe available now?

  4. Don't worry Anonymous, the i3 will launch as a 4 door with the coach(suicide) style doors. You are seeing the i3 concept coupe now all the time because it's the latest concept and it is actually very close to what the production i3 will look like (albeit with 4 doors). BMW may make the i3 in a coupe like you see above also, but if they do it's likely it won't be till much after the 4 door is released later this year.