BMW i3 - $43,000 - Available: 2013

BMW i3

Posted 12.10.2012 in Cars by Editor

BMW's commitment to environmentally responsible luxury performance vehicles is amply evident not only by its $561 million investment in it's Leipzig plant where the new i3 will be produced and the new $100 million carbon fiber plant in Moses Lake Washington, but in attention to the smallest of details such as the responsibly sourced eucalyptus wood used in the dashboard.

The standout innovation however, aside from the i3's zero emissions battery-electric drive train, is that the carbon fiber from Moses Lake will be used to make the car's Life cell chassis, which sits atop the aluminum Drive frame. The ensemble, referred to by BMW as their LifeDrive concept, drops 1,200 lbs off the vehicle and makes this purpose-built EV one of the most sophisticated and innovative entrants in the field.

Features like a lightweight carbon fiber chassis have previously only been available in the stratospherically-priced supercars like the McLaren MP4-12C, Bugatti Veyron, Lamborghini Aventador and Lexus LFA. McLaren's MP4-12C is the least expensive machine in its class at $231,400. The other breakthrough EV to feature extensive carbon use for the body, the Tesla Roadster, listed for $109,000. BMW's ability to produce a carbon-chassis mass-market car with a curb weight of only 2,500 lbs despite a heavy battery pack, which will sell for less than $45,000, is one of the biggest automotive breakthroughs in decades.

 

Electric Range: 100

Total Range: 200

Battery Capacity: 16-22 kWh

 

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