Radical BMW i3 caught testing

by Alex

The i3 electric vehicle had been spied upon in Sweden last week and reported somewhere in these columns. News comes that BMW has gone on to the pre-production testing stage of this vehicle.

The previous name that was given to this model was Megacity. The car has been built around a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell. The chassis and crash structure is made up of aluminum. Cost of the car is expected to be greater than £30,000, with sales expected to start in 2013.

The electric motor fitted on the car has been designed and developed by BMW themselves. The motor develops over 100 kw of power. the car is a rear wheel drive and the motor is installed under the boot floor of the car. There is no requirement of any multiple ration gear box. The battery pack assures a 100 km range and is placed between the aluminum chassis under the floor.

There are chances that BMW may come out with an i3 that would also have an internal combustion engine fitted to the car to be able to extend range of the car. This was declared by BMW to Autocar magazine. The engine would generally be coupled to a generator to charge the battery during long drives.

The prototype model that has been seen has a front cooling air intake which is necessary in case of an on-board engine being fitted to the car.

Source: autocar

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