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BMW to Debut i3 Electric Car This Month

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On: Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 2:26PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW to Debut i3 Electric Car This Month

We were expecting the debut of the BMW i3 electric city car this year, but we weren't expecting it for another two months. BMW will jump the gun, debuting its very first electric car on July 29. 

BMW debuted both the i3 and i8 concepts at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, and we were assuming it would use this year's Frankfurt show to debut the production versions of both models. As it turns out, BMW simply can't wait that long and plans to reveal the i3 live on YouTube on July 29. The manufacturer revealed its intentions in a rather superficial and uninformative teaser video, which you can watch below.

About the only thing we learn from BMW's teaser is a word to add to our German vocabulary: Vorfreude, which means "anticipation," according to Google Translate, something that BMW hopes to build for its debut in three weeks.

While the video doesn't provide much insight, we already know plenty about the i3, at least its concept variation. BMW introduced the most recent i3 concept, a burnt orange hatch that is a little less conceptual than the original 2011 version, at last year's LA Auto Show. The car uses a 170-hp electric motor to power its rear wheels. A lithium-ion battery pack provides enough electricity for between 80 and 100 miles of range.

The batteries and motor work together in three driving modes:COMFORT, ECO PRO, and ECO PRO+. The ConnectedDrive infotainment system includes a dynamic map that shows just how far drivers can travel with the amount of battery power left. An accompanying smartphone app provides vehicle and charging information to the driver when he's away from the car.

In addition to a fuel-efficient build, BMW made an effort to lessen the i3's impact with the use of sustainable interior materials. The interior features eucalyptus wood and locally sourced cowhide leather. The interior "Life module" is designed to be spacious and airy, utilizing suicide doors, and large windows to help create a "lounge-like" space.

We assume BMW will follow the YouTube debut with an international auto show premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, where we also expect to see the i8 plug-in sports hybrid.

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