World Premier: BMW i3 Coupe

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We don’t usually cross-post our features from BimmerFile (you know, the site like MotoringFile but with BMWs on it?) but today seems special. Today is the day that BMW is taking the wraps off of it’s third BMWi concept – the i3 Coupe. Based on the previous i3 concept, the coupe represents a sportier take on the carbon fiber monocoque concept. For those unaware, BMWi is a newly formed sub-brand of BMW (not unlike MINI) that will focus on electric and hybrid cars with carbon fiber monocoque chassis created via renewable resources. It’s as a holistic rethink of the car as any major automobile company has tried yet. And with this Coupe BMWi is starting to round out the models they intend to offer. From the i3 to the über sporty (and pricey) i8, the new brand will products throughout BMW’s current price-points. Where does this leave MINI?

MINI will surely benefit from all the learnings at BMWi revolving around electric drivetrains and carbon fiber design and construction. While we don’t expect any of this to show-up in the next generation MINI family (the F5X series) don’t count out some of it showing up in the successor to those cars. What we could see crossover on are the small engines meant to power the hybrid drivetrains in some of BMWi cars. There’s even rumor of a 1.0L two cylinder derived from BMW’s motorcycle division in the i3 hybrid.

Production of the i3 Coupe feels like a real possibility given the design and technology overlap with the existing i3 four door. That said nothing has been officially mentioned around marketing timing.

Check out the full story at BimmerFile.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scamper Scamper Robinson

    An electric (or hybrid) small MINI is what I’ve really been holding out for.

    • minipuma

      Hopefully MINI is hard at work figuring out a way to bring a hybrid car to market. Here in LA, an increasing number of people I know and work with only consider hybrid cars that get 40+ mpg when they are shopping for vehicles. While I expect my next car to be a gasoline-powered MINI, it is getting harder and harder to justify buying a car that gets less than 30 mpg city.

      • BimmerFile_Michael

        The next gen 3 cylinder gets that with petrol. I have an F20 120d that is getting 50+mpg (625 mile range per tank) and it is not a hybrid. Hybrids are stop gaps and BMW as well as other German brands see it how it really is and thus the lack of investment until recently. There are cars (Efficient Dynamic edition) BMWs in Europe that are faster, cheaper and get better fuel economy than any Prius. It is just hard to spend as much as Toyota did on marketing.

        The big push will be range extending electric cars- BMWi has been testing these for most of the past year and will be to market not that long after the BEV i3.

  • glangford

    And they’ll be some marketing reason from BMW as to why its not available in the US…

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      The target audience for much of BMWi is the US and will certainly be coming to the US.

  • piper

    I’ll settle for the MINI SD. What is BMW waiting for? There is a market for reliable, fuel-efficient diesels in the U.S. It merely requires educative marketing to cultivate. Get on the stick and bring them to our shores ASAP!

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

      It’s not a problem of demand. The issues are the significant cost of getting ANY new engine federalized and then adding additional tech to make any diesel engine California-compliant. It isn’t that there’s no demand, it’s that there hasn’t been enough demand up to now to offset the costs of bringing that engine here. That said, our sources are telling us that MINI will offer a diesel option with the F56 and forward, and our understanding is that it would be the SD powerplant. I for one am thrilled at this prospect as the Clubman SD is the most fun MINI I’ve ever driven.