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A BMW i3 with the range extender option was pictured for the first time by worldcarfans.com. For those unfamiliar with the i3, the base car will be a pure EV with a 90-100 mile EPA range rating. You can also order it with a range extender as an option(no official word on pricing yet but it's believed the BEV i3 will be about 45k and the range extender version about 48K before tax incentives).

This is the first spy photos of the i3 with the range extender option. The car is set to go on sale in September 2013:




You can view more pictures here: http://bmwi3.blogspot.com/2012/12/bmw-i3-photos-emerge.html
 

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My question is - what will those green media writers who insist on calling the Volt a plug in hybrid call an i3 with the range extender option?
 

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Spark EV, expensive version

And Volt, ugly AND expensive version.

BMW, I have just one word for you:

FAIL.
 

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but, I'm sure there will be ultra-niche buyers, just on the basis of the BMW name.
 

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OMG, that thing is butt ugly. Exxon must have had design input. No threat to gas guzzling there.

Had our 335D (diesel) in for service. Fast and frugal, but its been a cornucopia of fault codes and electrical issues. I digress, we were given a new 3 series loaner. You won't believe how badly they botched the turn off/on feature when the car is stationary. There is an audible clang when the engine is started. The power is OK for a 4 banger though.
 

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Gonna have to agree with the trend here - I don't like what I'm seeing at all, from a styling standpoint.
 

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That one gets a 0 for style points!!
 

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I won't judge the styling yet as a vinyl wrapped early pre-production model just doesn't give a good look.
If their ER generator system still offers 80-100 EV miles and then switches over to gas, and the Volt or ELR don't get to at least a 60 mile range, I don't care what it looks like, it would be our next purchase IF we don't go pure BEV.
 

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Let's wait until the camo comes off before rendering judgement. I'm thinking it will look better when it's unveiled. Plus it may look better in person. Previous pics of the i3 looked at least interesting IMO.

I'd think that with only $3K for a range extender this option would be a no-brainer. Can't imagine anyone NOT going for it. In this regard, BMW is more or less following GM in the design, which is perhaps not surprising given that BMW hired Frank Weber away to do it. Hopefully BMW can execute as well as GM. If so then the i3 will be a great vehicle.
 

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Bmw_i3.jpg

Leave the camo on, but then beauty is in the eye of the beholder. On the other hand the I8 is drop-dead gorgeous.
 

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I thought I read the that the 'range extender' will only have a couple/three gallon tank to go along with it. i.e. it was to get you over the range anxiety but not for road trips. Just if you were close and ran out of battery. Plus tiny - ie. no mountains.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1064301_2014-bmw-i3-electric-car-motorcycle-engine-as-range-extender
The optional REx engine-generator set will be compact enough that it can sit over the rear axle, in the same space as the electric drive motor. Both components are hidden under the standard rear deck of the i3, whose shell is made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. In multiple interviews at last week's i3 Concept launch event in Frankfurt, BMW executives revealed the following details about the REx engine:
It's an inline two-cylinder of roughly 600 cc (0.6 liter) capacity
 

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One pitfall is the small size of the gas tank which only provides 70-80 miles of range, so obviously not on the same level as the Volt. It would make it annoying to take long trips but considering this is a city car it's probably not an issue.
 

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Let's wait until the camo comes off before rendering judgement.
I can get behind that. Hard to judge a book from a camoflaged cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I thought I read the that the 'range extender' will only have a couple/three gallon tank to go along with it. i.e. it was to get you over the range anxiety but not for road trips. Just if you were close and ran out of battery. Plus tiny - ie. no mountains.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1064301_2014-bmw-i3-electric-car-motorcycle-engine-as-range-extender
Yes Scott, it will have a very small gas tank probably only two to three gallons. With an AER of 90-100 miles the thinking is you won't be using it very much, and it's really there just for piece of mind just in case and for the occasional long drive. A Volt would be much better choice for those that frequently drive long distances for sure. I don't think mountains (maybe not Pikes Peak!) will be a problem though. It weighs 1,000lbs less than a Volt (3,781 to 2,756) so it only needs a 25-30kW to keep up with all but the most demanding circumstances.

We'll learn all the details soon. I suspect BMW will unveil the production version sans the swirly camouflage and all the specifications in one of the Spring Auto shows, my guess is Geneva in March. There's plenty of room for more plug-in choices. Personally I don't see competition as a bad thing at all. The more manufacturers that make good plug in cars raise the public perception of all plug ins. If all the new plug in releases fail it just gives the pundits more fodder to lump all electric cars into the 'failure' class. I'm rooting for all plug-ins to succeed. I think that gives credibility to the whole industry.

May 2013 be electric! Happy New Year everyone!
 

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Ok, so having made a negative comment about this car, I sat back and thought... looks aside, price aside, this IS closer to what I'd like the Volt to offer (a much greater EV range).

But why does it have to be a tall narrow blocky econobox shape? Really come on, it's at best tolerable, ala Spark.

How about a shape like this (hint hint, GM, this would sell like hotcakes)
 

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^^ you want me to RUN to the dealership? Give me an EREV that looks like that, at Volt pricing and build quality. A good shape IS NOT intrinsically reserved for higher prices and gas-only cars.

(Fisker, you have got to prove the Atlantic is at least an order of magnitude better than the Karma before I'll consider...)
 

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Ok, so having made a negative comment about this car, I sat back and thought... looks aside, price aside, this IS closer to what I'd like the Volt to offer (a much greater EV range).
Assuming it has a large enough tank for a decent road trip, I think I agree. A 100 mile EV range and a smaller (and possibly less efficient?) range extender would make a nice car - I'd have to think a lot about whether it'd be a better car for me. But I would be seriously annoyed trying to deal with less than 300 or so miles of gas range (someone said they think it's a 2 or 3 gallon gas tank?!?)
 
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