BMW will stop production of the first-gen i3 hatchback, Here's Why
BMW will stop production of the first-gen i3 hatchback, Here's Why

The first-generation BMW i3 hatchback, which has been on sale in several foreign 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 3rd-generation Mini Countryman in the second half of 2022. The BMW i3 was the first BMW car to have a pure-electric driveline, predating the bigger, Chinese-produced BMW iX3 SUV, which was released in 2021.

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 pricey carbon fibre construction. The five-seat crossover, which will be launched later this year, was supposed to be built in a new factory in Debrecen, Hungary. According to Autocar UK sources, due to delays in the greenfield site's development, the i3 sequel will now be built in BMW's Regensburg facility until 2024. The next entry-level I vehicle, like the future X1 and new Mini Countryman, is built on BMW's FAAR platform, signalling the end of manufacturing for the aluminum-intensive DriveLife platform that underpins the i3.

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 utilised a 22.2kWh lithium ion battery in both situations and had a maximum power of 168hp. The battery capacity was increased to 33.3kWh after a redesign in 2017. The i3 S, a performance variant with wider tracks and 181 horsepower, was added to the lineup the following year. In October 2021, BMW revealed that the manufacturing of the i3 has topped 200,000 units. Officials estimate that by the conclusion of manufacturing in July 2022, the number of units sold would have surpassed 2,50,000.


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