The BMW i3 Arrives – Was it Worth all the Hype?

So it’s here, almost. The all electric BMW i3 BMW’s first production car venture into the world of the EV was debuted to the world last week and, as expected, it caused quite a stir, with the love/hate being expressed on Twitter coming fast and furious as the live event unfolded (start the video above at 12.00 minutes, there is nothing of note before then) 

If you cannot spare the time to watch the video right now though here are some of the basic facts and specs: 

The BMW i3 will start at $41,350. The BMW i3 with Range Extender will start at $45,200 and both will be available in the US in early 2014. 

The basic electric engine boasts 170 hp and a maximum torque of 184 lb-ft and a 0-60 speed of 7 seconds and a limited 93mph top speed. The standard range is 80-100 miles on a single charge and, using a 240 volt socket charges in three hours or the optional SAE DC Combo Fast Charging allows for 80% charge in just 20 minutes. Adding the Range Extender will take you a little further (up to 200 miles) by allowing a 2 cylinder 650cc combustion engine to maintain a charge to the lithium-ion battery until you can get to a charging spot. 

There are three drive modes –  Comfort, ECO PRO and ECO PRO+ and an uber tight turning radius of 32.3 feet that is designed – according to BMW – for tricky city driving. 

The car itself is also being billed as the world’s first mass-produced Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) -constructed electric vehicle, and weighs in at around 2,700 lbs. 

The base Mega World comes standard with 19-inch extra-efficient forged aluminum wheels, BMW Navigation, BMW ConnectedDrive with eCall, the BMW i Remote, an alarm, 7.4 kW on board charger and LED headlights, DRLs and tail lights. The interior is decked out in bright, lightweight Sensatec and sustainable cloth, which is made from recycled materials. It also features a leather trimmed steering wheel and grained dash trim. And yes, you do have to live with that black hood, whatever color you choose.