For a long time, people have speculated about an Apple “iCar.” Then, BMW went and built it – the i3. The i moniker is being launched as a sub brand of sorts within BMW. In London (likely to coincide with its sponsorship of the Olympics), BMW has announced the opening of its first i Store on Park Lane. This indicates BMW’s desire to market the cars in a separate space.
The showroom focused on “sustainable mobility.” What we’re covering here though is a new, more luxurious version of the i3. The updated car has been introduced to coincide with the store’s opening. So far i3 has been shown off with a cold, stoic interior design. The luxury model changes this up a bit and shows off a more lively appearance.
The front and rear bench seats now feature a weave pattern along with leather accents. Their accent leather has been processed with an extract sourced from olive trees. The wood trim comes from European Eucalyptus trees. We like the unique grain pattern it offers. Overall, the look is upscale, light and highly modern – in other word, exactly what they intended.
As an overall design, the i3 is brilliant for city car use. Entry in and out is so easy, and the interior has so much passenger space. Electric drive eliminates any sort of transmission tunnel, and BMW’s has ditched the center console accordingly.
The dash is simple and minimalist as well – there are just three screens that provide information to the driver. With a glass roof and door design, we’d imagine the i3 would be an enjoyable car to pilot around city centers. Electric drive is perfect for these situations, given that little power is used in standstill traffic.
Unfortunately, with all this research and development going on, the batteries are still only limited to about 80 to 100 miles in range. BMW is working with governments to install charging stations however, with tech that can recharge the battery in about an hour.
A whole ecosystem is being developed around the car, and we think BMW will have this nailed down better than anyone other than perhaps Tesla. The i3 is scheduled to debut late next year.