BMW i3 is now an all-electric sedan for China


The last time we checked, the BMW i3 was a 5-door supermini hatchback, but that doesn’t mean it should remain a hatchback forever. Which is why the nameplate has been upgraded to a D-segment sedan, but for some reason, BMW has decided to make it exclusive to the Chinese market currently. It is available only in a single eDrive35L variant currently, priced at CNY 349,900 (INR 41.88 lakh or US$ 55,180).

The styling is based on the G20 3 Series (7th gen), of course, with similar headlight, grille, bumper and taillight design. However, typical of an electric vehicle these days, the front “grille” is closed and the wheels (18- or 19-inch) have some kind of aero flaps. Also, the headlight design is a bit different here. The ‘L’ suffix is indicative of a longer wheelbase, which means the all-electric 3 Series is longer by 163 mm compared with the regular 3 Series.

Inside, the i3 sedan looks significantly different compared with the ICE-powered model, with narrow central air vents and of course, a curved panel that houses a 14.9-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch instrument display. Other key features include synthetic leather upholstery, 3-zone climate control, 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, and the usual ADAS stuff.


The i3 sedan is powered by a single electric motor at the rear, offering 210 kW (285.5 metric hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque. Official performance figures are 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph). A 70 kWh battery pack is good for a range (CLTC) of up to 526 km (327 mi). DC fast-charging is claimed to take 35 minutes to get to 80% SoC.

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