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A stunning three-door version of the all-electric BMW i3 has been unveiled

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Dec 26,2012

BMW is forging ahead with bold plans for its ‘i’ brand by adding a sporty fourth model to the line-up. The BMW i3 Concept Coupe made its debut at a special preview event, high in the Hollywood hills, on the eve of the LA Motor Show.

The battery-powered hatch is the fourth concept model to emerge in the project ‘i’ family, which already includes the five-door i3, i8 and i8 Spider. This new version of the i3 reveals a near-production-ready interior, a radical new look on the outside and points towards a three-door i3 that could arrive in 2014. The mechanicals are identical to the five-door i3’s, combining a 168bhp electric motor driving the rear wheels via a single-speed gearbox with a lithium-ion battery pack under the floor. A range-extending petrol engine will be offered as an option, but won’t have an impact on the way the i3 looks or on the interior packaging.

BMW claims a range of up to 100 miles per charge, and there are three driving modes: Comfort lets the motor deliver its full potential, while Eco and Eco Pro modify the throttle sensitivity and air-con intensity to eke out a few extra miles. As there’s no transmission tunnel, the cabin offers plenty of space, with two individual seats in the rear. Up front, the centre console is dominated by a familiar iDrive dial, while a 6.5-inch screen replaces the traditional instrument cluster and an 8.8-inch display which is used for the sat-nav and infotainment controls sticks out from the dash.

BMW has yet to confirm prices, but expect the i3 Coupe to cost around the same as the five-door i3, in the region of £30,000 after the £5,000 Government grant.

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