BMW reveals new all-electric i3 Concept Coupe

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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While BMW continues to produce some of the sportiest cars and crossovers on the planet and cyber-babble abounds about the fabled M8 supercar, a much greener side of the blue and white roundel is beginning to take shape. Enter the i3 Concept Coupe, a cute little electric two-door that promises as much fun as it does frugality.

It has all the makings of classic BMW sports coupe. The rear wheels are powered by a 170-horsepower motor with 184 lb-ft of torque mounted onto a lightweight carbon fibre reinforced plastic body. Could it get any better? The motor is electric and transmission single-speed, which translates into zero hesitation off the line and zero emissions.

BMW released photos and information about the new i3 Concept Coupe ahead of this week's 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, where it will be unveiled for all to see. According to the release a set of lithium-ion batteries are encased within the floorboards to optimize space and enhance the i3's centre of gravity, improving handling.

This coupe looks towards a new range of all-electric BMWs, starting with the i3 hatchback that was shown at the Frankfurt motor show last year. The i3 Concept Coupe, which certainly fits into BMW's overall product philosophy, could be built alongside the hatch as the two share an identical wheelbase.

The i3 Coupe Concept's interior is mostly made from sustainable materials, such as wood, wool and kenaf fibre, plus leather of course. But the leather isn't for the seats, which are covered in wool yarn and a monofilament material, but rather the car's door panels. And that leather is tanned in an extract made from the leaves of the olive tree, a much greener production method. Despite having no transmission tunnel, which might cause older show-goers to conjure up memories of the '50s BMW Isetta, the i3 features the premium brand's latest technology including iDrive.

A two-door i3 coupe fits into BMW's overall product philosophy and may prove to be an important way to maintain its premium cachet within the brand's upcoming electric car lineup.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sports Coupe, EV, BMW, 2012, i3 Concept Coupe, Electric, Subcompact,

Organizations: BMW

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