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November 27, 2014: The all-electric, zero emission BMW i3 has won the acclaimed 2015 Green Car of the Year Award at the on-going Los Angeles Auto Show 2014 (open for public from 21 to 30 November). The award was presented by Green Car Journal. Powering the i3 is a 170 hp electric motor which hums 250 Nm of max torque starting from 0 rpm! It offers a range close to 160 km and with the optional range extender it features 300 km range, courtesy to a 650 cc engine.
After introducing the technologically advanced i8 sedan in the Indian car market, the German luxury car maker BMW has announced about the launch of another electric car BMW i3. However, there is no information related to the official launch date of this hatchback. The automaker has already rolled out this vehicle in some international markets and is slated for a launch by the end of this year. This upcoming vehicle will be targeted towards those individuals, who look to minimize running cost without compromising in terms of luxury. It is expected to come with the same power train and variants, which are available in the global automobile markets. Like its international version, the India-bound version might be available in two trim levels, which will are equipped with a high voltage Li-ion /18.8 kWh battery. In addition to this, it is powered by a electro-synchronous 125kW motor that can churn out a maximum power of 102bhp in combination with a superior torque of 250Nm. It can go up to 190 Kilometers on a single charge, which gradually goes down to about 160 Kilometers in case of regular use. On the other hand, the other variant with range extender is fitted with a 0.6-litre petrol motor. It comprises of two cylinders and four valves that displaces 647cc. It can churn out a maximum power output of 38bhp and yields 56Nm of torque, which is rather good for an electric car. On the other hand, the automaker has bestowed this model series with a superior disc braking mechanism with internally vented brake discs, which delivers superior braking power. At the same time, it also gets a robust suspension system that helps to improve the drive comfort by dealing with all the jerks caused on roads.
Speculated to be out soon, this electric vehicle has a completely new body structure with ultra modern cosmetics. It has a distinct external appearance unlike any other hybrid vehicle available in this segment. The designers at the company seem to have worked hard to give it a conventional hatchback look, without compromise in its style. The front façade has an aggressive look featuring signature kidney bean shaped grille design. Its frame has the accents of Blue or Silver depending upon the exterior paint. Apart from these, the company has also given it sleek bonnet with high gloss shade, eye shaped headlight cluster, which is powered by LED headlights and day time running lights, body colored bumper with lower cladding and round shaped fog lamps. Its side profile is designed with refreshing new window frames, body colored door handles and wing mirrors. The most attractive aspect of its side is the stylish five twin spoke design alloy wheels, which have high sheen finish that enhances the appearance of its sides. However, the company is also going to give a provision for replacing these rims with a set of multi spoke or diamond cut alloy wheels. This yet to be launched vehicle has a glossy rear profile, which embodies the elegant brake lights and turn indicators. The windscreen has a conventional design and is accompanied by a stylish spoiler, which is further incorporated with high mount stop lamp. It also has sporty bumper in a dual tone color scheme, a pair of reflectors along with courtesy lamps and a stylish BMW logo, which is embedded just below the windscreen.
Coming to its interiors, this upcoming vehicle is expected to come with a spacious internal cabin that can accommodate at least five passengers and provide ample space. Its international version has well cushioned seats and are covered with premium fabric upholstery featuring leather inserts. Both the front seats are electrically adjustable including memory setting, which further enhances the comfort. The refreshing dashboard with a lot of wood inserts. It has a sophisticated instrument cluster featuring a high resolution display that provides essential information to the driver. The steering wheel has a modernistic two spoke design, which is covered with premium leather upholstery and gives the cabin a classy look. It is decorated with the company's logo with blue accents and is mounted with multi functional switches for additional comfort. It has an advanced center console that houses several equipments like an AC unit, illuminated control switches and an infotainment system. Apart from these, the cabin is incorporated it with an array of comfort features, which certainly provides a pleasurable driving experience. However, there is no information whether if all the aforementioned features will be available in the Indian version. It can be offered with features like a fully automatic climate control system, power steering with tilt adjustment, push button start, electrically operated windows, automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers, power adjustable seats, central locking system, electrically operated outside mirrors and cabin lamps. On the other hand, it is expected to be fitted with a number of safety aspects as well. The list includes airbags, three point seat belts, active cruise control system with stop and go function, ABS along with EBD, approach control warning, pedestrian safety with city braking function and park assistance package. One of the most important features of this model series is that its passenger compartment is built with high strength carbon fibre, which is 30 percent lighter than the conventional aluminum. It provides optimum safety to the occupants inside by minimizing the impact that is caused in case of a collision. It is most likely that the automaker will launch this vehicle by the end of 2015 or in the first quarter of 2016.
The car maker has given this upcoming hybrid vehicle an attractive body structure and compact size, which will make it perfect for driving on small city roads. The designers have done a flawless job for giving this vehicle an ultra modern look and bestowed it with a lot of stylish cosmetics, which gives it a decent look on the roads. To begin with the front fascia, it is designed with signature radiator grille, which is in kidney bean shape. Its frame has the accents of Blue or Silver depending upon the exterior paint of the vehicle, which gives the frontage a dynamic look. Its bonnet gets a high gloss black shade, which emphasizes its exclusivity. It is further complemented by a couple of visible character lines along with a prominent company logo at the tip. This grille is flanked by a neatly crafted headlight cluster that has an aggressive eye shaped design. It is incorporated by automatic LED lamps along with side turn indicator. Just below this, it has a body colored bumper, which has black colored lower cladding for preventing it from any minor damages. It is flanked by a couple of bright and round shaped fog lamps for added visibility. Its windscreen is pretty large and gives a wide view to the driver ahead. It is made up of solar glass and accompanied by a couple of rain sensing wipers. On the side facet, this vehicle gets conventional cosmetics like body colored door handles and wing mirrors. These external wing mirrors are electrically adjustable and integrated with side turn indicator for additional safety. The most attractive aspect of its side is the stylish five twin spoke design alloy wheels, which have high sheen finish. However, it is expected that the company is also going to give it a provision for replacing these rims with a set of multi spoke or diamond cut alloy wheels. These rims are further covered with high performance tubeless radial tyres, which give superior grip on any road condition. This vehicle has a glossy rear profile, which embodies the elegant elegant brake lights and turn indicators. The windscreen has a conventional design and is accompanied by a stylish spoiler, which is further incorporated with high mount stop lamp. The rear bumper has a sporty design with a dual tone color scheme as it is fitted with a body colored strip. Furthermore, it is fitted with a pair of reflectors along with courtesy lamps. The overall look of its rear is complimented by the stylish BMW logo, which is embedded just below the windscreen.
It is expected that this vehicle will come in the Indian car market with the same dimensions like its global version. Its overall length and height are 3999mm and 1574mm that is quite good for giving ample leg space and head room for all passengers. While it's standard width is about 2039 that includes both external rear view mirrors. It also has a decent ground clearance.
The company has skilfully designed its internal cabin, which is done up with extensive use of leather upholstery. It gets a dual tone interior color scheme, which is further emphasized by fineline wood inlays. At the same time, it also gets ambient lighting scheme and a lot of chrome inserts. Its cabin is fitted with stylishly structured seats, which are covered with premium fabric upholstery featuring leather inserts. The leather inserts are also given to the head restraints, center armrest and door panels, which gives a plush appeal to the cabin. Both the front seats are electrically adjustable with proper lumbar support, while driver's seat comes with memory function as well. Its first and second row gets center armrest featuring storage compartment along with drink holders. Its rear cabin has bench seat with 40:20:40 split folding facility, which contributes towards improving the boot capacity. Its dashboard has a refreshing new design with multiple color schemes and a lot of wood inserts. It features a large glove box with cooling effect, an advanced instrument panel, rectangular shaped AC vents and so on. It also has a sophisticated instrument cluster featuring a high resolution display that provides essential information to the driver. It is also integrated with a two spoke multi functional steering wheel that is covered with leather upholstery. This steering wheel is mounted with company insignia in the center and mounted with various control switches on it for convenience of its driver. The central console houses several equipments like an AC unit, illuminated control switches and an infotainment system. It also has a storage compartment, which adds to the convenience. The instrument cluster has an integrated color screen along with two round shaped meters, which displays informatics like speedometer, a digital tachometer, external temperature display, trip-meter, date several other notification lamps for keeping the driver up to date. The company has also given it a number of utility based aspects like storage package including glove box, front seat back pockets, front and rear center armrest with stowage compartment and storage box under driver's seat. Beside these, it also has a sun glass holder, cup and bottle holders, a rear parcel shelf, door map pockets, remote fuel lid opener and many other such aspects.
The automaker is expected to offer this yet to be launched vehicle with an array of comfort features, which certainly provides a pleasurable driving experience. It has been bestowed with a 2-Zone automatic climate control unit including air vents for rear passengers as well, which keeps the cabin ambiance pleasant. One of the most important aspects of this hatch is its BMW ConnectDrive, which has a lot of advanced features. The list includes BMW apps, Bluetooth with handsfree and USB interface, extended Bluetooth with audio streaming, voice control, office functions and contact photo display. It also supports HiFi loudspeaker system with eight speaker that enhances the ambiance of its cabin. Then it also has an iDrive with 22.3cms touchscreen display, which supports a DVD player, an integrated hard drive for maps and audio files. The company will offer this vehicle an adaptive cruise control function that helps in maintaining a steady speed on the highways as set by the driver. However, there is no information whether, all the international grade features will be available in the Indian version. One can expect for standard features like adjustable steering column, all four power windows with one touch operation, electrically adjustable outside mirrors featuring anti dazzling function along with memory and automatic headlamps. Furthermore, it is also expected to be incorporated with a rear center armrest with two cup holders, an inside rear view mirror with automatic anti-dazzling function, storage compartment package and push button engine start and stop function. We can also expect other aspects like power adjustable rear seat, central locking system, electrically operated outside mirrors, rear seat entertainment unit and cabin lamps.
This hatchback looks compact from outside, but has a huge space inside, which can provide lavish seating for at least five passengers and give ample space for a comfortable journey. Its cockpit has 1007mm of headroom and 1392mm of shoulder space. While its rear cabin gets a head and shoulder space of 946mm and 1281mm respectively. On the other hand, it has a 260 litre boot compartment, which can be further extended up to 1100 litres by folding the rear bench seat in 40:20:40 split ratio.
It has the ability to achieve a top speed of 150 Kmph, which is rather decent for this hybrid car. However, it can accelerate from 0 to 100 Kmph speed mark in 7.2 seconds, whereas the variant with range extender takes about 7.9 seconds for accelerating from zero to 100 Kmph.
This model series is going to be fitted with a high voltage Li-ion /18.8 kWh battery, which has the ability of delivering a decent performance on the road. In addition to this, it is powered by an electro-synchronous 125kW motor that can churn out a maximum power of 102bhp at 4800rpm in combination with a superior torque of 250Nm. It can go up to 190 Kilometers on a single charge, which gradually goes down to about 160 Kilometers, when in use regularly. Its high voltage battery can be charged at house or at BMW iWallbox. On the other hand, the manufacturer is also offering this model series with extended mileage range by equipping its rear compartment with a 0.6-litre petrol motor, which comes with a displacement capacity of 647cc. It comprises of two cylinders and four valves. This engine can churn out a maximum power output of 38bhp at 4800rpm and yields 56Nm of torque at 4500rpm, which is rather good for an electric car.
The electric motor can go up to 190 Kilometers on a single charge, which gradually goes down to about 160 Kilometers. It takes around 6 to 8 hours to charge the battery for a full range. The company may offer it with a DC quick-charge option, which requires only about 50 minutes for a full charge. On an average it consumes only about 14 to 17 kWh to deliver a mileage of 100 kilometers, which is quite impressive. The combination of this petrol engine and electric motor extends the mileage range up to 300 kilometers that is quite remarkable.
The company has given this vehicle an electro synchronous 125kW motor that can churn out a maximum power of 102bhp at 4800rpm in combination with a superior torque of 250Nm. On the other hand, the manufacturer is also offering this model series with extended mileage range by equipping its rear compartment with a 0.6-litre petrol motor. It can churn out a maximum power output of 37bhp at 4800rpm and yields 54Nm of torque output at just 4500rpm, which is rather good for an electric car.
This upcoming hatchback series is expected to bless with BMW ConnectedDrive, which is equipped with various features. These aspects are a HiFi loudspeaker system along with Bluetooth with handsfree and USB connectivity. It is bestowed with an advanced park distance control system for rear, which minimizes the efforts required to park this vehicle. In addition to this, it might be available with an iDrive unit with 22.3cms color display including a DVD player and an integrated hard drive for maps and audio files. Furthermore, the car maker has incorporated a Navigation system professional featuring maps, which helps to choose a right direction. On the other hand, the owners can customize it with various exterior and interior equipments of their choices. The list of exterior accessories includes stylish body decals along with door visors, illuminated scuff plates, side step, a set of mud guards, roof rails, spoiler and side skirts, which gives it a sporty look. At the same time, the internal cabin can also be added with a few features like holder for iPad, snap-in adapter, all weather floor mats, BMW junior seat with ISOFIX and lots of other aspects.
Like any other model from BMW's portfolio, this upcoming vehicle will also come with an efficient braking as well as a reliable suspension mechanism, which keeps it well balanced at all times. All wheels are paired with a set of high performance internally vented disc brakes that are further loaded with sturdy brake calipers. It is also incorporated with an advanced anti lock braking system that works with brake assist to augment the overall mechanism. On the other hand, the front axle has been fitted with a double joint strut system, whereas its rear axle gets multi arm suspension system. Furthermore, there are programs like dynamic stability including traction control system, which helps in improving this mechanism. The cabin is integrated with an electric power assisted steering system featuring servotronic assistance that uses energy only while steering and thereby improves its overall efficiency.
As far as its safety aspects are concerned, this luxury vehicle is expected to get features like airbags, three point seat belts, active cruise control system with stop and go function, anti lock braking system along with electronic brake force distribution, approach control warning, pedestrian safety with city braking function and park assistance package. Its passenger compartment is built with high strength carbon, which is 30 percent lighter than the conventional aluminum and it is one of the most important safety features. This provides optimum protection to the occupants inside by minimizing the impact that is caused in case of a collision. Apart from these, it is incorporated with features like warning triangle with first aid kit, side impact protection, run-flat tyres with reinforced side walls and ISOFIX child seat mounting points. At the same time, it is also integrated with security aspect like an advanced engine immobilizer including a crash sensor.
The well molded wheel arches are of this hybrid version are expected to be fitted with a classy set of 16 or 17-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, that gives the side profile a decent appearance. These rims are further equipped with high performance tubeless radial tyres.
1. Innovative safety and comfort features are its big plus point.
2. External appearance is quite enchanting with several styling aspects.
3. Presence of high voltage battery that can be charged at house is an advantage.
4. Luxurious seating arrangement adds to its advantage.
5. Reliable braking and suspension mechanism.
1. Lower ground clearance makes it hard to drive on uneven roads.
2. A few more features can be added.
3. Authorized service centers needs to increase.
4. Navigation system can be given as standard for all variants.
5. Initial cost of ownership is expected to be quite expensive.