BMW 330e Plug-in Hybrid

BMW i3 Sedan revealed in China as electric 3 Series with 335 horsepower

We all know the BMW i3 as the quirky electric hatchback that was temporarily offered with a range-extending two-cylinder gasoline engine sourced from BMW Motorrad, the company’s division in charge of two-wheeled products. This all-electric sedan also happens to go by the name of i3. Confused? Allow us to explain.

Revealing images of the 2022 BMW i3 Sedan have been published by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and it didn’t take too long for them to make the Internet rounds. The reinvented i3 is based on the locally produced 3 Series Long Wheelbase, which makes sense since a longer distance between the axles allows the engineers to install a larger battery pack.

The fact BMW is using the i3 moniker suggests the little hatch is on its way out since it would be rather confusing to sell two entirely different EVs with the same name. The exterior design is pretty much the one we all expected, featuring the typical blue “i” accents, a closed-off grille, and aerodynamically optimized alloy wheels.

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The grainy images make it hard for us to decipher the model’s designation on the trunk lid, but we believe it says eDrive 35L. The first half suggests we are dealing with a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive variant as otherwise it would’ve said xDrive thanks to dual motors. The “35” indicates it’s a lesser-powered version, with the documentation provided by MIIT revealing it packs 335 hp (250 kW). However, the output matches the i4 eDrive40 available globally.

Additional technical specifications include the vehicle’s size, stretching at 4872 millimeters (192 inches) long, 1846 mm (72.7 in) wide, and 1481 mm (58.3 in) tall, with a wheelbase of 2966 mm (117 in). It weighs 2,029 kilograms (4,473 pounds) and is offered with a choice between 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels. It tops out at 112 mph (180 km/h), which is likely electronically limited. Details about the battery and range are not available for the time being.

Much like the conventionally powered long-wheelbase 3 Series Sedan, the fully electric i3 represents a product of the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture in China. An official reveal is likely a few weeks or months away.

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Note: BMW 330e plug-in hybrid sedan pictured at the top

Source: China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) via cochespias / Facebook