The car will be shown publicly for the first time in simultaneous unveilings July 29 in New York, London and Beijing. Concept versions have been on display at auto shows since 2011.
BMW says the i3’s electric motor will deliver 170 horsepower, 184 pounds-feet of torque and have a range of 80 to 100 miles from its 22-kilowatt-hour (kwh) lithium-ion battery. Tesla cars travel between 232-300 miles depending on battery size.
Smaller outside than the 3-series gasoline cars, but as roomy inside, the automaker says.
The new car is expected to have a turning radius of 32.3 feet–about 5 ft. tighter than a mid-size family car, making the i3 a great candidate for parking and maneuvering on urban streets.
Using a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic passenger compartment, mounted on an aluminum chassis, will keep the car more lightweight.