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29 November 2012

i3 Concept Coupe unveiled in LA

BMW’s first production ‘i car’ is getting closer to reality...

TopGear.com
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Next year, we'll finally see BMW's first car from their sub-brand ‘i'. ‘i' has been created to save the world while freeing up our urban snarls with ‘mobility-solutions'. These cars, then, are the future.

What you see above is the i3 Concept Coupe, which has just been unveiled at the LA Auto Show. It's a two door version of the i3 Concept that we saw earlier this year in Frankfurt. But this is more than some glued-on rear doors on a carbon fibre reinforced plastic body.

The biggest change is to the i "stream flow" design. A new rear bumper, steeper roofline, deeper rear side windows and a more angled tailgate have all been incorporated at this final stage of development. These have changed the i3's measurements: it now stands at 3964mm long, 1768mm wide and 1555mm high. That's 119mm longer, 243mm narrower and 18mm lower than the five-door car that we saw earlier in the year.

The interior is now closer to production reality, using leather, wood, wool and other renewable materials. There's even a strip of eucalyptus wood in there (to keep potential koala bear-owning customers happy, we assume). The minimalist cabin with most controls accessed by the iDrive system that's mounted between the front seats.

Like the i3 hatch, the Coupe is powered by a 170 hp electric motor that gets its energy from lithium-ion cells under the floor. Drive is then fed to the rear wheels via a single gear. No performance figures as yet, but it should be very similar to the 7.9 second 0-100kph and 150kph top speed of its five-door brother.

BMW are claiming a range of up to 160 kilometers (roughly similar to the Nissan Leaf), but only if you're in the most efficient Eco Pro+ mode. If you select that, your top speed is limited to to 90kph, and you can't use things that sap power - like seat heaters.

Excited, internet?

Tags: los angeles, bmw, i3

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