Next BMW 3 series may exclusively launch in China
According to a Spanish media report, BMW is about to present a purely electric version of the 3 series model. The BEV version, which is allegedly in the fine-tuning phase, will only launch in China for the time being.
As the portal motor.es writes, the BMW may present the BMW i330e in the first months of 2021 with sales to start before year’s end. The vehicle would sit on the long-wheelbase version 3 Series Li, which has already been sold in China. The report mentions a net battery capacity of 74 kWh, and the rear-mounted drive system could deliver 190 kW. The Spanish medium does not name any sources.
Leaked testing images recently supported the fact that BMW is working on a purely electric 3-series model. Photographers had taken pictures of corresponding test vehicles. The car was wearing the kidney grille of the combustion 3-series, which is much more discreet than the i4, but a newly designed rear apron without tailpipes.
The German publication Auto, Motor und Sport also assumed that the electric 3-series will have a rear-wheel drive, but with slightly different data than motor.es: According to this, the vehicle could take over the 210 kW electric drive of the iX3. This would still position the electric 3-series well below the i4, which is to be powered by two electric motors to achieve an output of 390 kW. The AMS also speculates about a 70 kWh battery, which would place the model, with a range of 440 kilometres, below the i4 (600 kilometres).
The model designation is based on the “i3 Sedan” construction. As reported, BMW has decided to give the i3, which has been built since 2013, another battery update and to continue building the carbon fibre model until 2024. Until then, the obvious model name for the electric 3-series would be blocked.
In September there was speculation about a battery-electric version of the 3-series. At that time, the British magazine Autocar reported on a new i3 based on the 3-series for 2024 or 2025 – just after production of the current i3 would be discontinued. Primarily, it would be a 3-series sedan, according to the report, “Insiders don’t rule out the possibility of a 3 Series Touring-based estate”.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.