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by David Zalstein

The BMW i3 range-extender hybrid will cost almost 10 per cent more than the pure-electric variant when it launches in 2014.

BMW USA confirmed the petrol-assisted i3 city car would be priced from US$45,200 ($47,800) – a premium of US$3850 ($4100) or 9.3 per cent over the US$41,350 ($43,750) i3 EV.

Local pricing will be finalised closer to the i3’s launch in July 2014, though BMW Australia corporate communications generation manager Lenore Fletcher confirmed the local division would follow the same premium pricing strategy for the hybrid as introduced by its North American counterpart.

BMW i3 - 2

Planned to launch simultaneously and tipped to cost between $50,000 and $70,000, Fletcher said the 120kg-heavier range-extender would “definitely” come at a higher price than the EVdue to it being fitted with a two-cylinder petrol engine – used to charge the model’s 125kW/250Nm electric motor – and a nine-litre fuel tank.

The all-electric i3 claims an“everyday conditions” single-charge range of 130-160km, and a potential range of up to 200km, while the range-extender plug-in hybrid is estimated to provide a 240-300km range, with 340km possible when operated in its most efficient driving mode.

CarAdvice is heading to Amsterdam to drive the BMW i3 at the end of this month. Stay tuned for our review in the coming weeks.