BMW i3 Concept

BMW i3

The BMW i3 Concept is a zero-emission city car concept which provides an accurate preview of BMW’s nearly-ready, mass-market electric car. The BMW i3 is driven purely by electricity, and is also designed to be sustainable and practical for day-to-day city commuting.

The i3 features BMW’s proprietary LifeDrive chassis architecture¬† which makes the car light, safe, spacious and dynamic. Clever material choices and weight-saving engineering, help the i3 Concept to travel long distances on a single charge and provide excellent safety in the event of a collision. As a bonus, the lightweight chassis also helps provide the i3 with superior driving dynamics – a vital characteristic for most BMW buyers.

The BMW i3 is powered by an electric motor which is located over the rear axle. This motor generates an output of 170 hp (125 kW) and impressive torque of 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) from literally zero rpm. The BMW i3 Concept accelerates 0 to  37 mph (60km/h) in under four seconds, and from rest to 62 mph (100 km/h) in less than eight seconds. More than adequate for normal driving situations, and easily enough to keep up with the flow of traffic.

On the inside of the BMW i3, carefully selected materials lend the open and airy cabin a lounge-like character. The use of renewable raw materials is another defining characteristic of the i3’s interior. Parts of the instrument panel and door panelling are visibly made from natural fibres, while the leather of the seats comes from naturally tanned hides. With four seats, wide-opening opposing “coach” doors, a boot capacity of around 200 litres (53 gallons) and an additional storage compartment in the front, the BMW i3 Concept is neatly equipped for the demands of everyday use.

The BMW i3 is also packed full of gadgets. Connectivity functions create a digital integration between the BMW i3 Concept and its customers’ lives outside the car. Remote functions accessible via a smartphone enable owners to find their vehicles, flag up nearby charging stations, allow battery charging and preconditioning at the touch of a button, and supply information on the current status of the vehicle. Meanwhile, intelligent assistance systems ease the stress on drivers in monotonous city driving situations and allow them to arrive at their destination more safely and in a more relaxed state of mind.

Source: BMW i


  1. Okay, the cool thing about this site is that it is about pure design and of course functionality. So, that being said, Does these two models even look worth our time when it comes to the physical appearance department? I mean they both seems to just fall short of the design department. Maybe we would just have to wait on its full fruition when it comes to pebble beach or something like that. Tell me what you guys think about the design execution on these cars?

    • Ascetically they aren’t that appealing. Engineering wise they fall even shorter of the mark.

      As I said under the i8, the hybrid design is an exercise in poor engineering. A well tuned Diesel engine can out perform any hybrid in both driving enjoyment and fuel economy. And in the next few years you will be sing a new steam engine for use in autos that will completely eclipse the diesel engine in both performance and fuel efficiency.

      • You know, Dave, I always knew about the diesel engine, but you said something interesting about the “new steam engine.” What, when, how, has this old technology gotten that much better? And by the way I’m not saying it in a sarcastic tone, but rather a genuine question. I’m quite shock to say the least.

        • Steam engines never lacked for thermal efficiency. The worst of them was the fire tube boiler and that was on average equal to a diesel engine in thermal efficiency; about 40%. However the Doble monotube and the Lamont steam boiler both have the ability to reach 80% thermal efficiency; using 1920’s materials.

          Using modern materials I have been able to eliminate some obvious design concessions that Lamont made because of the limitations of the materials he had to work with. In doing so I’ve been able to get another 6%, for a grand total of 86% thermally efficient.

          The big area of energy loss though in a steam engine isn’t the boiler. Those are about as good as they are going to get. Its the piston seals leaking that killed the engine efficiency in the past.

          The pressures used in steam engines (between 600-1200 psi) would push past the seal and the engine would leek power. This resulted in high ratios of pound hours per horse power (upwards of 20 ph/hp) which tanked overall efficiency.

          But we have better expansion motor options now a days. I’ve personally used a G-Lader as an expansion motor. With some minor redesign it can be made an effective motor (mine blue up at 700 psi, so it needs reinforced). The TVS Roots supercharger from Eaton and the Twin screw super charger from Lysholm have also been talked about by others as excellent expansion motors. All three are very easy to convert into an expansion motor. Dr. James D. Crank in a paper stated that the twin screw was able to achieve 94% efficiency (less than 5ph/hp).

          These compressors, once converted to an expansion motors, are able to efficiently convert steam pressure in to working force. They are unidirectional in both steam flow (good; your never injecting hot steam into a cold expander, thus saving energy) and mechanical operation (bad; requires a reversing gear).

          Now on the end of clean operation, the fire box in the boiler operates at very high temperatures, so the fuel is completely consumed. The fuel is also consumed at just a little above atmospheric pressure so you don’t have all those smog forming gasses (I don’t buy global warming, but I know smog is real and it suck). And the exhaust gas sensor I used on my steam boiler even showed that CO2 in the exhaust was slightly less that what is the air (which makes sense as hydrogen has a greater affinity for oxygen than carbon does); I also noticed some caramelisation build up in the stack.

          • Heh, I’m the typo king. I typed “Ascetically” when I meant “Aesthetically” and I’m sure I have made a hole host of typos in that big old post above.

          • I truly appreciate the information Dave. And the spelling thing, well to say the least sometimes I have those issues as well. We are just car guys who get exited sometimes and forget a word or two.

          • You can say that again. And I’m working hard to make my dream of a modern return of steam power to the auto industry come true.

            Even if I have to be that crazy guy that shows up to drag tracks around the country with his hot rod roadster that eats the big blocks for lunch and then hands out flyers on “how it all works and how they can help bring it to market”.

Leave a Reply