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2013-07-30 08:33

HEADED FOR SA: Described by BMW as “revolutionary step towards sustainable mobility,” the electric i3 makes it global debut. There's even an extended range version. Image – BMW

FRANKFURT, Germany — BMW's new electric i3 production-ready model is on show and ready to go on sale in November 2013. The model will arrive in South Africa later in 2014, albeit in limited numbers.

BMW AG is showing off the production model of its new i3 electric compact model in the US. The car uses carbon-fiber materials to reduce weight and improve driving performance.


CEO Norbert Reithofer stressed at a New York unveiling that the car was designed as an electric vehicle from the ground up, commenting, "The i3 is born electric.”

Two versions of the i3 will be offered and both are powered by the same electric engine. The 125kW/250Nm electric motor will haul it from standstill to 100km/h in just 7.2 seconds. The top speed is limited to 150km/h in the name of efficiency.

The Range Extender version also has a 650cc, 25kW two-cylinder petrol engine that acts as a generator to extend the battery's overall range. The standard model has a range of between 130 - 160km, whereas the Range Extender version has a range of 300km.

The i3 goes on sale in Europe in November 2013, with prices starting at the equivalent of R453 000.

The next car to be added to BMW's electric car range will be the i8 supercar. It has a plug-in hybrid engine and is due to be launched later in 2014.

What do you think of the new BMW i3? Would you want to own it? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts or use the Readers' Comments section below...
Read more on:    bmw  |  new york  |  new models

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