BMW i3 Coupe Concept Expands Eco Brand to Three

BMW i3 Coupe Concept Expands Eco Brand to Three

As BMW prepares to launch its new i brand of electrified vehicles, the German automaker is previewing the third model in the lineup with the i3 Concept Coupe today at the LA Auto Show.

Roughly the size of a Honda Fit, it’s less of the stylish coupe design one might expect from BMW. Instead, the i3 Coupe is remarkably similar to the four-door i3 concept we’ve already seen, with a tall and narrow body. Accented by Solar Orange and matte grey paint over top of carbon fiber, this BMW may ride on 20-inch wheels, but with some extremely narrow tires measuring 155/60/20 up front and 175/55/20 in the rear.

Motivation comes from the same energy source as the sedan model with a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor outputting 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Being a BMW, it comes as little surprise that power is delivered to the rear-wheels.

SEE MORE: 2012 LA Auto Show Coverage

Inside the cabin looks near-production, with two LCD screens, while BMW touts the car’s environmental responsibility in other respects using eco materials including wood from a sustainably managed forest.

Other BMW traits can be found inside, like an iDrive control knob and a drive mode selector. You won’t find a Sport or Sport + mode here, however. Instead there are three settings: Comfort, Eco Pro and Eco Pro+. While BMW claims a range of 100 miles, the Eco Pro setting will help the car achieve a 20 percent extended range by dulling throttle response and limiting the climate control, while the Eco Pro+ takes it to the next level, shutting off all non-necessary features (including the daytime running lights), whole also limiting the top speed to 56 mph.

Look for the i3 concept to join the i3 sedan when BMW starts selling its new i brand of cars next year, with the i8 hybrid sports car to launch in 2014.

GALLERY: BMW i3 Coupe Concept