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BMW i3 (2014)

CAR GARAGE | BMW i3 (2014) | Like the i8 "eco supercar," the 2014 BMW i3 employs a new weight-efficient type of construction called Life Drive. This consists of an upper "Life" module - meaning the passenger cell - and a lower "Drive" module or chassis That carries the powertrain, battery array, suspension, steering, and brakes.  Unlike the all-electric Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid with front-wheel Their drive trains, the 2014 BMW i3 employs a compact AFT-mounted power package to drive the rear wheels. The i3 concept Suggests the production models will stand 4.7 inches longer, 12.8 inches and 5.2 inches Taller Wider than a 2-door Mini Cooper on a 4.1-inch longer wheelbase. Each body comprises i3 That Several CFRP sections are formed by a new low-cost BMW process.

As noted, the 2014 BMW i3 will be Offered in "pure" EV and "Rex" range-extender hybrid versions. The former should be technically close to the all-electric concept, the which Carried a BMW-developed brush-less motor some 40 percent smaller than the Mini E unit. BMW has not yet Stated weight or power for the i3 battery pack, but Car and Driver estimates at roughly 21 kWh capacity. BMW quotes typical driving range at 80-100 miles, the which is on par with the larger Nissan Leaf. Top speed is electronically capped at 93 mph to prolong battery charge. A Leaf-like driver-selectable "Eco-PRO" mode provides Stronger regen, limits throttle response and reduces power to electrical accessories.

While BMW claims the extender doubles the i3's range to about 190 miles, Thus Spake eliminating the range anxiety from the electric-car equation, it also eliminates some practicality as the engine, generator, and fuel tank Reduced the [normal] 7-cubic-foot cargo space to something far less useful. "On the other hand, BMW claims both power packs do not impinge on passenger space. As for the rest of the 2014 BMW i3 chassis, it's made largely of aluminum and includes energy-absorbing front and rear sections for crash-protection, supplementing the CFRP body is inherently strong. The suspension comprises front struts and rear multilink geometry, both traditional BMW fare.  Motor Trend notes BMW's claim That the "i3's electric powertrain weighs about 440 pounds more than a similar combustion setup, but its 550 pounds thanks Life Drive architecture" versus a comparably sized conventional car while Providing equal or superior rigidity.

The 2014 BMW i3 is a battery-powered premium-subcompact car and the first retail electric vehicle (EV) ever Offered by the world's top-selling premium auto brand. The latter, the which BMW calls a "Rex," adds a small gasoline engine / generator kicks in to extend That driving range once the battery pack runs low. To be sold only as a 4-door hatchback, the i3 joins the Slinky i8 plug-in hybrid sports coupe in the launch of BMW's "i" sub-brand That is planned to host a broader lineup of advanced-technology EVs, hybrids, and range-extender hybrids, all specially designed for electric propulsion instead of being adapted from conventionally powered vehicles.

BMW says both i-cars will go on sale in 2013, the which means Likely 2014-model U.S. debuts. It will be another range-extender hybrid with an i8-style powertrain layout. Earlier results of the multifaceted development effort included the gas / electric "ActiveHybrid" options for the X6 premium-midsize SUV and 7-Series premium-large sedan, an all-electric Mini E based on BMW's small British-built 2-door hatchback, and a more-advanced "Active E" version of the company's 1-Series premium-compact coupe. BMW did, however, preview the i8 "eco supercar" with the 2009 Vision Efficient Dynamics concept.

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