Back in 2016, BMW electrified the 3-Series through a plug-in hybrid 330e, and now the sedan is ready to let go of the combustion engine altogether. It was rumoured last year that an electric BMW 3-Series would be showcased at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but we got the i Vision Dynamics concept instead. The latest images published by Motor1 show a 3-Series test mule with stickers that say 'electric test vehicle'. At first look, it appears to be a regular prototype of a standard next-generation 3-Series, but the electric-vehicle stickers tell the true story.
Besides the obvious stickers, the BMW 3-Series test mule has other aspects that reveal that it is electric, such as a closed-off front grille, since an electric powertrain won't need cooling like a combustion engine would. There are two exhaust tips at the back but are fake most likely to throw off the bystanders.
According to the Motor1 report, BMW was testing the vehicle in the presence of a Tesla Model 3, which pretty much confirms that it is an all-electric vehicle we're looking at. On the outside, the 3-Series Electric looks like a standard next-gen 3-Series. However, it is expected to come with some design tweaks which will differentiate the conventional cars from the eco-friendly ones.
Not much is known about the BMW 3-Series electric's powertrain yet. However, the new electric BMW will have to go up against the likes of Tesla Model 3, which is why it will have to deliver a range of about 482 kilometres to compete with Tesla's is possible to compete with the Tesla’s 496 km range.
Watch BMW 7-Series video review below:
BMW i Vision Dynamics concept which will come as the i4 in 2020 promises a range of 547 to 700 km of range as per BMW’s CEO. The 3 Series EV might just use the same hardware. The range prescribed by BMW CEO was likely in reference to an NEDC figure, so real life range may be significantly lower.
It is rumoured that BMW might take the wraps off the next-generation 3 Series as early as October at the Paris Motor Show. One with an electric motor will follow later in the life cycle.