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BMW i3 Concept Coupe up for debut at the LA Auto Show

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BMW i3 Concept

By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor

LOS ANGELES, November 27, 2012. During a pre show event in Hollywood, BMW unveiled the third model of the new i brand. It is the i3 Concept Coupe that will make its world debut tomorrow, when the LA International Auto Show opens its doors for the media. About the BMW i3, the electric mega city vehicle, and the i8, the hybrid sports car, a lot has been written already. With the third model, BMW shows a sportier version of the i3 Concept and is the first electric car that is fully connected to the internet.

The fluent lines of the Concept Coupe show a new interpretation of the especially for the BMW i cars developed Stream Flow Design. Just like the i3, the body is made of CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic). Innovative BMW i Connected Drive services, which have been especially developed for production cars, guarantee the use of the navigation system, aimed at the special needs for use of E mobility and the information transfer between the car, its surroundings and the smart phone of the driver.

The i3 Concept Coupe is equipped with a BMW developed electric engine with 125 kW/170 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque. Just like in the i3 Concept, the lithium ion battery pack is placed on the bottom of the car. With a length of 156 inch, a width of 70 and a height of 61 in., the Coupe is wider and lower than the normal i3. The wheelbase of 101 in. is the same.

The LifeDrive passenger cell is visible by a special color combination with warm Solar Orange metallic paint that has been especially developed for the new BMW concept. Through the open door the carbon fiber structure of the A- and B-pillars is visible.

Black air curtains, incorporated in the bumper spoiler, provide air in the wheel wells. The lower part of the rear skirt has a diffuser for the optimal air flow under the car. The three door coupe sits on 20-inch wheels with low-resistance rubber in the size 155/60/R20 up front and the 175/55/R20 at the rear.

Sustainable materials have been used in the interior, such as eucalyptus wood, leather, wool and other raw materials. Audio- and airco buttons are placed in the center console, as well as the buttons for preferred settings of iDrive. The 6.5-inch monitor mounted on the steering column shows graphic information digitally. In the center of the cockpit at the same height is a second, 8.8 inch display for details graphics of for instance the navigation and i ConncetedDrive. Both displays work together based on the necessary information, which is divided per situation over both monitors. Their interaction is specially meant for use in the (mega) city.

After the driver opens the door, the car ‘welcomes’ him (or her), while connecting to his smart phone, loading the agenda. That way the system knows the address of the destination and loads that in the navi system. In the mean time the distance is calculated and the nearest charging stations at the destination are shown, while calculating how much charging is needed. An appointment can be made for charging time as well, while the needed energy for the return trip is also calculated.

Please stay tuned to The Auto Channel for more pictures and details from the Show.