The BMW i3 may not look like your typical BMW, but the first production model in BMW’s heavily hyped i-family rewrites the rule book for both the brand and the industry as far as mass-marked production cars are concerned. Its carbon fibre construction is usually the preserve of racing cars and exotics, while the all-electric, plug-in drivetrain links viable operating range to surprising urge. The shape might not be the sleekest, but it provides exceptional interior space, while clever packaging and premium materials ensure an upmarket motoring experience in line with BMW customer expectations.
The all-electric model uses a 125kW motor and a lithium-ion battery pack for a 130 to 160km operating range, and zips from zero to 100km/h in just 7.2 seconds. A range-extender version using a 650cc petrol engine will boost range to 300km, and is probably the version to be introduced in South Africa in 2014.