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The German automaker will focus next year on starting production for its i-Series according to a statement by Dr. BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer.
The BMW ActiveE, or electric 1-Series, is finally available for lease, though there aren’t many up for grabs.
We originally expected this to happen last year, but BMW delayed releasing their electric car until now to streamline the delivery process. The first unit has already been delivered and there are only 700 available in total, meaning anyone interested had better move quickly. Well, sort of.
700 cars isn’t a lot, but at the same time, EVs are proving to be a tough sell with Americans. The ActiveE closely resembles the 1-Series, but has strange circuit-esque graphics on it that make it look like a company fleet vehicle. The only other exterior difference is a bulge on the hood, which seems silly when you realize such a feature is usually reserved for performance-oriented M cars. In this case, it’s there to make space for the three lithium ion storage cells.
Speaking of performance, it’s simply off the table with this one. A disappointing nine-second 0-60 time and only 170 horsepower, 60 less than the 128i, mean the only thrills you get will be going past gas stations. That won’t even be much fun though, because the car is limited to a 90 mph top speed. At 184 ft-lbs of torque, it also has less pull than a Nissan Leaf, which has 207 ft-lbs.
The ActiveE has about the same range as it’s competition, about 100 miles, but we wish you luck in enjoying any of the classy creature comforts you’ve probably come to love in BMWs while your palms sweat with range anxiety. The ActiveE is also expensive. If you want one of the 700 in your driveway, get ready to pony up $2,250 and $499 per month on a closed 24-month lease. Unless you’re dead set on driving an electric BMW for personal reasons, this might be one to avoid. The only real upside is that the back seats are still intact, unlike the electric MiniE, which became a two seater in the name of going gasless.
GALLERY: 2012 BMW ActiveE
BMW is giving its home turf a big, heaping pile of BMW-osity. The carmaker plans to debut no less than four production models at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September: the M5, the M3 GTS’s sedan version, a redesigned 1-Series, and the i3 electric city car.
The M5 and the M3 GTS, of course, will cause enthusiasts to salivate at an unhealthy, fluid-draining rate. But while the 1-Series will be redesigned for the first time since its debut in 2004—no insignificant debut at any other show—it’s the i3 electric car that will make the biggest impact at the show.
The i3, as leaked before, is BMW’s mass-produced electric car with a 160-mile range and a passenger cell made from carbon fiber. If anything, it’s BMW’s firing shot into the electric propulsion game, with much of the company’s reputation behind it.
BMW‘s little urban runabout is almost ready for the limelight, and some tantalizing details have been released: when it goes on sale, uh, eventually, it will be priced at $35,000, or around the price of a 3-Series Coupe.
And what does that $35k get you? Well, 150-horsepower, for starters—a lot for its size, and good for a range of 160 miles between charges, which will probably be far less if you take it to its 100-mph top speed. And with the electric motor in back (and the proper wheels driving the rear), the i3 leaves 14.1 cubic feet of luggage room up front and under the seats. The passenger cell will be made from carbon fiber, in a joint venture with Volkswagen, in order to keep weight down and balance out the batteries that line the floorboards.
Hey, carbon fiber ain’t cheap. But BMW is banking on moving 40,000 examples annually from its Leipzig plant, currently being retooled to produce “i” electric vehicles. The i brand is BMW’s future sub-brand of clean, cheerful electric vehicles, coexisting in the same slightly bizarre temporal plane with electric MINI Coopers, electric 1-Serieses, and the electric Phantom, which would still make a great name for an indie-electro noise pop band. Strange times indeed.
[Source: Car and Driver]
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Mate Rimac decided to follow that old saying, revolutionizing his 1986 BMW 3-Series after popping the motor during a track day in Croatia.
Instead of giving up on the car, or just shoving in another power plant, Rimac had a crazy idea: “I pulled the engine out of the car, looked at the empty space under the bonnet and wondered what to put in there,” he said. “And then it hit me. I’ll make an electric racecar.”
And what an electric racecar? Rimec’s creation boasts 900-hp.
It’s become a two-year project for Rimac and his company, VST Conversions, with the car being powered by 300 lithium-iron phosphate cells in a battery pack, providing a range of roughly 110 miles.
Helping churn out the 900-hp is a DC motor designed by VST with a possible top speed of 174 mph. Rimac has further plans on developing the car to become faster and lighter and has set a goal of developing a 1,088-hp electric supercar by 2012.
Check out the video of the BMW after the break.