After almost nine years on the market, BMW stopped manufacturing its first electric car, the i3, last June. Despite its long commercial career, the small minivan with a carbon fiber chassis no longer fits within the strategy of the Bavarian firm, which has in its range proposals such as the i4 sports saloon or the large iX SUV.
Aware that the i3 has starred in a particularly important chapter in its history, the company has decided to pay tribute to it by holding a special ceremony to deliver the last 18 units manufactured, all of them painted in a striking two-tone gold/black scheme that enhances its still striking lines.
The event, which took place at the brand’s museum in Munich, is a celebration of the model’s successful career. “At the start of series production eight and a half years ago, it was considered a visionary and exotic vehicle. Since then, this compact electric drive has established itself as a pioneer in emission-free driving pleasure.”
Between 2013 and 2022, BMW sold more than 250,000 units of its small electric car. Initially, it was equipped with 21.6 kWh batteries, although an extended range version (REx) was also offered that added a small heat engine as a generator. Later the original pack was replaced by another of 33.2 kWh, while in its latest evolution it adopted one of 42.2 kWh with which it managed to reach 310 km WLTP of autonomy, which marked the end of the REx variant.
The BMW i3 says goodbye after almost 9 years on the market
These three versions received the commercial denominations of 60 Ah (21.6 kWh), 94 Ah (33.2 kWh), and 120 Ah (42.2 kWh) respectively. It is interesting to note that the 94 Ah and 120 Ah models had a sporty i3S variant, which added a slight extra power (184 hp) compared to the standard i3 (170 hp).
In Europe, the i3 will be indirectly replaced by the recently introduced iX1, a larger and more capable C-segment SUV than its predecessor (thanks to its 64.7 kWh battery pack, it homologates a range of between 413 and 438 km under the WLTP cycle ). Those customers looking for a smaller electric can opt for the MINI Hatch and MINI Aceman.
Interestingly, the i3 name will not die with this model, as an electric version of the 3 Series sedan is currently sold in China under the same name. In addition, it is expected that the next electric 3 Series based on the Neue Klasse platform, scheduled for the year 2025, will also continue to use it.