The BMW i3 lives to see another day. But this time not as a carbon fiber-made hatchback, but rather as a 3 Series sedan with an electric drivetrain. Based on the long-wheelbase 3 Series, the BMW i3 Sedan fits a 70.3-kWh battery pack that has a net capacity of 66.1 kWh. Based on the China Light-Duty Vehicle Test Cycle, the BMW i3 Sedan will cover up to 526 kilometers (327 miles) before running out of juice. According to the same CLTC, the 3er without a combustion engine consumes 14.3 kWh / 100 kilometers.
The top model is the BMW i3 eDrive35L in a RWD configuration with a rear electric motor. With 282 hp (210 kW) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) on tap, it’ll do 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) run in 6.2 seconds. Just like the iX3 also made in China, the i3 sedan uses components developed for the Gen5 eDrive powertrain also found in the i4 and iX.
The 3 Series swallows 480 liters of cargo, but the i3’s volume is 410 liters due to the added hardware. Once the battery is depleted, it’ll take 35 minutes to charge it from 10% to 80% using a DC connection at 95 kW. Should you be in a hurry, 10 minutes of DC charging equate to 60 miles (97 km) of range. Using AC, the battery pack is charged at 11 kW.
Furthermore, the BMW i3 eDrive35L comes with redesigned headlights and sharper daytime running lights. As for the taillights, we can only see a section in a cutaway where they appear to be unchanged.
It gets the typical closed-off grille with blue accents and an “i” badge, along with a resculpted front bumper. Additionally, a look at the side profile reveals aerodynamically optimized wheels and charging ports on the front-left and rear-right fenders.
The silent and stretched 3 Series Sedan has a bespoke suspension catering to China’s roads. It was developed by BMW in collaboration with joint-venture partner Brilliance. The two will assemble the car at the factory in Lydia, Shenyang, with no plans to export the i3. Sales start in May.