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BMW i3’s First Generation to Cease Production in July

The i3 was the first BMW with a completely electric drivetrain. It was first sold outside of the United States in 2013.

The first-generation BMW i3 hatchback, which has been on sale in some international markets since 2013, will be phased out.

A BMW spokesperson confirmed in an interview with our sister publication Autocar UK that the final example of the compact electric five-door will roll off the production line in Leipzig, Germany in July, ahead of a reorganisation of the manufacturing facility in preparation for the start of production for the upcoming third-generation Mini Countryman in the second half of 2022. The BMW i3 was the first BMW model to offer a pure-electric driveline, predating the larger, Chinese-produced BMW iX3 SUV, which was introduced in 2021.

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BMW i3's First Generation to Cease Production in July
BMW i3’s First Generation to Cease Production in July

The iX1, an electric version of the third-generation X1, will indirectly replace the quirky hatchback in the BMW lineup, with its rear-hinged rear doors and expensive carbonfibre construction. The five-seat crossover, which will be unveiled later this year, was supposed to be built at a new factory in Debrecen, Hungary. According to Autocar UK sources, due to delays in the greenfield site’s construction, the i3 successor will now be produced at BMW’s Regensburg factory until 2024. The new entry-level I model, like the next X1 and new Mini Countryman, is built on BMW’s FAAR platform, signalling the end of production for the aluminum-intensive DriveLife platform that underpins the i3.

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BMW i3's First Generation to Cease Production in July
BMW i3’s First Generation to Cease Production in July

The rear-wheel-drive i3 was initially available with a single-motor electric drivetrain or a range extender (REx) drivetrain, which combined a 647cc two-cylinder petrol motorcycle engine with an electric motor. It used a 22.2kWh lithium ion battery in both cases and had a maximum power of 168hp. The battery capacity was increased to 33.3kWh after a facelift in 2017. The i3 S, a performance model with wider tracks and 181 horsepower, was added to the lineup the same year. In October 2021, BMW confirmed that production of the i3 had surpassed 200,000 units. Officials estimate that by the end of production in July 2022, the number of units sold will have surpassed 2,50,000.

In India, BMW displayed the i3 at a number of events to gauge customer reaction, but the model was never made available to the general public.

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