The 2015 BMW i3 hatchback is a vehicle that steps out of the
familiar world of BMW and ventures out to conquer yet another
different world of motoring. It steps out into the world of
electric vehicles and goes forward to prove that it can take
the front wheel as an innovator in the segment.
2015 BMW i3 Exterior
The BMW i3 2015 is offered in two trim levels i.e. the base and
the Range Extender. Each trim features three sub-trims which
are Mega World, Giga World and Tera World.
Compared to BMW SUVs and sedans we are accustomed to, this car
looks like an alien from another automaker except for its
signature twin-kidney grille. The grille itself features a blue
hue which is a common feature on all “i” models. This color
referred to as Frozen Blue by the automaker is also featured on
the tailgate, the hood and the roof. The front also features a
snub nose which combines with its wide stance, large wheels and
tall profile to give the vehicle an aggressive look.
On the sides, the vehicle features large and stout door handles
which complement its image. There is also a deep dip in its
beltline that makes its windows on the rear doors taller. The
rear is a little mixed up with many design elements. It
features U-shaped taillights which are hidden under darkened
glass and are outlined with straight and curved shapes while
the rear fascia and bumper shield appear to be sweptback. The
i3 rides on 19-inch alloy wheels. Both headlights and
taillights utilize the LED technology.
2015 BMW i3 Interior
The cabin of this 4-seat hatchback has a styling different from
other BMW vehicles. It features Scandinavian modern furniture
and offers plenty of leg and head room as well as sufficient
cargo space. When the rear seats are standing, the cargo space
measures 15.1 cubic feet and expand to 36.8 cubic feet when the
rear seats are folded. It also has a 10.2-inch touch-screen
central display screen which the driver controls by an iDrive
knob mounted on the console.
There is also a smaller screen behind the steering wheel which
displays important information such as speed to the driver. The
interior upholstery depends on the trim chosen. The basic Mega
World features recycled SensaTec upholstery.
The Mega World also features heated front seats, a
leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic climate control, rear
parking sensors, a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity,
USB port, satellite radio and HD radio.
The Giga World adds a mix of active-climate wool and olive-leaf
tanned leather. This upholstery is enhanced by soft earth
tones, a leather instrument panel and open-pore eucalyptus
styling. It also features keyless ignition, a sunroof and
universal garage door opener.
The top trim Tera World offers similar styling as the Giga but
features a very dark brown hue. Though there are plastic
elements in all trims, they fall in the background as the other
novel materials take center stage.
All models will have an option for the Technology and Driving
Assistant package. This package features an upgraded iDrive
system with touchpad interface, USB connectivity, Bluetooth
audio, forward collision warning system and adaptive cruise
control. There is also a Parking Assist package which offers a
self-parking system, front parking sensors and a rear-view
camera. All models have an option for a Harman Kardon audio
system and 20-inch wheels.
Engine Specs and performance
Under the hood of the 2015 BMW i3 is an electric motor backed
by a 22-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The output of this motor
is placed at 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. There is an
optional 0.6 L, 2-cylinder petrol engine which backs up the
batteries when they are critically low. The gasoline engine is
rated at 38 hp and 41 lb-ft of torque.
The new 2015 BMW i3 accelerates from 0-60 mph in 7 seconds and
reach a top speed of 92 mph.
Unlike hybrid engines where the conventional engine sends power
direct to wheels, the i3 one recharges the electric motor which
in turn sends the power to the wheels. The batteries can be
recharged in three different ways; you can use your ordinary
household outlet which will take 20 hours, a special 240- volt
outlet which takes only 4 hours and if you think that is fast,
you are in for a shock because there is a standard fast charger
that enables full recharging in only 30 minutes. This charger
is offered in compatible charging stations. EPA rates the
engine with 81 miles range on a full charge. The range extender
increases the range to 150 miles.
However, the electric driving range of models with the range
extender drops to 72 miles due to the excess weight (330
pounds) of the gasoline engine which increases the vehicle’s
curb weight. When translated to mpg equivalent (mpge) the
engine is rated at 124 mpge and 117 mpge for models with the
These figures are quite impressive; however, though the i3
outshines the 2016 Chevrolet Volt which is rated at 98
mpge, the Chevy dwarfs it with its 380 miles range. The engine
is offered with three driving modes which are tailor made to
conserve charge as required, they are; Comfort, ECO PRO and ECO
Price of BMW i3 2015
To get your hands on this electric automobile from BMW, you
have to part with $ 43,350 MSRP for the base model and $ 47,200
for the top trim with a range extender.