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by Brett Davis

BMW has once again been spotted testing a prototype version of the upcoming BMW i3 electric city car- this time in northern Sweden in extreme winter conditions.

Even though the i3 has been revealed in concept form, development of the production version is still ongoing as BMW engineers perfect the car’s electric drive system.

The i3 is said to offer similar proportions as the Mini Countryman, only with a shorter nose, as seen in these spy shots, and a lower ride height.

Using an aluminium chassis wrapped in a full carbon fibre body, the lightweight design will be key to the i3’s efficiency, and will lead BMW’s future EfficientDynamics philosophy.

BMW recently signed a deal with SGL carbon fibre manufacturing firm that is expected to see a number of future BMW vehicles use the lightweight construction methods previewed in the i3.

Sticking to BMW tradition, the i3 uses a rear-wheel-drive layout. Power comes from a lithium-ion battery pack producing 125kW of power 250Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0-100km/h will take around 7.9 seconds, while a full-charge range will be around 130-160km.

The BMW i3 is expected to arrive in Australia in 2014, with prices potentially kicking off around the $50,000 mark.




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