The BMW i3 has been pushed to its limits around the Arctic Circle as development of the plug-in city car nears completion.
The i3 prototype underwent an endurance test through icy conditions at the top of the globe to assess its cold-weather durability. While light on technical details, BMW said the i3 performed well, delivering “sheer electric driving pleasure”.
The BMW i3 is set to be officially unveiled later this year – potentially at September’s Frankfurt motor show – before hitting the production line in Leipzig, Germany, before the start of 2014.
It will be offered as an electric model as well as a plug-in hybrid, with the latter option set to be favoured by BMW Australia when it launches the car here next year.
While the pure-electric zero-emissions BMW i3 – powered by a 125kW/250Nm electric motor and lithium-ion battery in concept form – is expected to have a range of about 160km, the hybrid version will reportedly be able to cover 400km with the help of a rumoured two-cylinder petrol engine.
While retaining its basic shape and dimensions, the production i3 trades the concept’s predominantly glass doors for conventional openings with horizontal sills and will feature simpler front and rear bumper and side panel designs.