BMW’s i3 debuted at the International Motor Show in Germany in 2011. Production began a couple of years later in late 2013. Since then, 250,000 i3s have been sold worldwide. Over the nearly eight-and-a-half years of i3 production, there were a number of options and enhancements along the way. There were 60, 94, and 120 Ah batteries that allowed driving ranges of 81 to 153 miles. There was also a range-extender version, which included a small two-cylinder gasoline engine (gasp!) for purposes of recharging the batteries.
The i3 received a number of international awards for its innovative design, which includes “UK Car of the Year”, “Green Car of the Year”, “Classic of the Future”,”Swiss Car of the Year”, and “World Car Design Award.” The i3 was pivotal in paving the way for BMW’s current iFactory strategy of “lean, green, and digital.” Milan Nedeljković, Member of the Board of Management for Production at BMW AG, said, “Thanks to the BMW i3, the Leipzig plant became the birthplace of e-mobility at BMW.”
BMW touts, “In addition to the all-electric drive, the BMW i3’s outstanding eco-balance also stems from the choice of materials, which is fully geared towards sustainability and resource-conserving production. It was the first BMW Group model to receive an ISO certificate issued by independent auditors at the time of its market launch, confirming its optimized environmental performance throughout its entire life cycle.”
There’s no doubt the i3 was a pioneering and successful vehicle for BMW. So what better way to kick it to the curb than introducing one last special edition and ending production? That’s right–the i3 will be no more! The final “Home Run Edition” is available now and has a number of unique features and options. There are two new BMW Individual paint colors: Frozen Dark Grey and Frozen Dark Red II. There are 20-inch wheels. There is a glass roof, adaptive LED headlights, and a number of posh interior upgrades.
I’ve always thought of the i3 as a modern Isetta, with its small stature and unique charm. So long i3, and thanks for all the fish. –Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of BMW.]