This Is The BMW i3 Sedan America Will Never Get

Leaked / Comments

Does it look familiar? It should.

There have been rumors BMW was developing a fully electrified version of its popular 3 Series sedan. Yes, this already exists here in the US and it's called the BMW i4. Both vehicles ride on the CLAR platform. BMW, however, felt it necessary to launch yet another CLAR-derived EV.

Meet the China-only BMW i3 sedan, doing the rounds on Chinese websites. It looks a lot like, well, the standard 3 Series only with blue accents surrounding the signature kidney grilles, new aero wheels, and a rear end missing the tailpipes. There's also some additional blue trim surrounding the rear bottom lights.

It makes sense for BMW not to sell the i3 sedan here not only because of the i4 but also to avoid confusion with the i3 hatchback, despite it being recently discontinued for the US market. Specific i3 sedan details have not been released but one of the above images does reveal a few details.

If you look closely at the i3 sedan's rear end you'll see the "eDrive25 L" at the top right, meaning it's the long wheelbase, a version specifically developed for China starting with the gas-powered 3 Series. The eDrive25 indicates the example shown here is rear-wheel-drive, aka the base model. A full-blown M5, dual-motor variant is less likely to happen.

2022 BMW i4 Forward View BMW
2022 BMW i4 Rear-Facing View BMW
2022 BMW i4 Lateral View BMW
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Bumping up to the i4 M50 gains owners a second electric motor, located up front, for a more neck-snapping output of 536 hp and 586 lb-ft torque routed to all four wheels. And yes, that's powerful than an M4. It's faster to 60 mph, too (3.7 seconds vs. 4.1 seconds). But what's interesting is that the i4 M50 is also sold in China.

So why sell the i3 sedan as well? The likely answer is because Chinese buyers still heavily favor the traditional three-box sedan whereas Americans are drifting more towards four-door coupes and crossovers. There's a market for both body styles in China, not so in the US.

2018-2021 BMW i3 Hatchback Front Angle View BMW
2018-2021 BMW i3 Hatchback Rear Angle View BMW
2018-2021 BMW i3 Hatchback Side View BMW

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2022 BMW i4 Rear-Facing View
2022 BMW i4 Forward View
2022 BMW i4 Lateral View
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