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BMW Lifts Cover From Carbon Fiber i3 Electric Car

BMW says that the i3 is all about the future and not just the concept, but also the production model will aim to visualize a futuristic automobile at first sight. The basics of the i3, which is about the length of a Mini, has the height of a small mini van and the width of a 7-series BMW, are not exactly spectacular. There is a 170 hp electric motor and batteries that give the i3 a range of somewhere between 70 and 95 miles. The acceleration is decent at about 8 seconds for the 0-60 mph sprint.

However, BMW also noted that it will be using carbon fiber to drive down the weight of the i3 - to about 2750 pounds. According to the company, the i3 will include an ultra-safe and ultra-light passenger shell called "life module". The entire concept of the car sounds quite expensive to us, but BMW claims that the i3 will be the first mass-produced car to use carbon fiber extensively, which could decrease the price of the material. It could also improve current problems in the production of carbon fiber - for example, carbon fiber parts tend to have greater variations in their measurements than parts made from traditional plastic compounds or metals.

Don't ask about the price. BMW isn't talking about it yet, but it is safe to assume that you won't be able to buy an i3 for less than $60,000. The i8 sports car is rumored to cost more than $100,000 when it debuts in the 2013 to 2014 time frame.