BMW Reveals The All-Electric 3 Series, But You Can't Have It

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Still, you do get an idea of what the conventional 3 Series facelift will be like.

We recently came across leaked images of the electric BMW 3 Series, and these images confirmed that the headlights would be restyled on the LCI model (Life Cycle Impulse - BMW-speak for facelift), as would the bumpers. We already knew this would be the case thanks to a leak from China in July last year, not to mention various spy shots. Now we can confirm that the expected updates to the refreshed model have been made official by the reveal of the electric 3 Series in China. As expected, the new model inherits the BMW i3 nomenclature - once the reserve of BMW's electric city car. But you'll never think about that EV again; this is a truly stylish electric offering.


As you'd expect for models sold exclusively in China, the i3 sedan comes with a long wheelbase as standard. At launch, the car comes in rear-wheel-drive eDrive35L flavor. Powered by a single electric motor, it produces 287 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. If those numbers seem familiar at all, it's because they are the same figures that the same setup produces in the high-riding BMW iX3. But while the SUV makes use of a 74-kilowatt-hour battery that can be charged at up to 150 kW, the i3 sedan gets a 66.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack using cells produced by Chinese company CATL. This setup can be charged at rates of up to 11k kW on AC power and up to 95 kW on a DC outlet. Taking the battery from 10-80% will require 35 minutes of connection.


As for performance, the 0-62 mph time is claimed at 6.2 seconds while the top speed figure is yet to be revealed. That said, a 112-mph speed limit (as seen on the iX3) is common for the Chinese market. Something that will be globally available is the i3 Sedan's inclusion of iDrive 8 with its dual screens, but while you have the latest in infotainment technology from BMW, you will have to make do with a little less trunk space. With 2.8 cubic feet being lost to the way the EV battery and components are packaged, the i3's trunk is rated at 14.1 ft3, around 0.8 ft3 less than in the 330e hybrid sedan. If you want your own electric 3, the closest we can recommend is the much more powerful and exciting BMW i4 which is available in the US.

2022 BMW i4 Rear-Facing View BMW
2022 BMW i4 Charging BMW

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