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BMW hints at $4000 premium for far-reaching i3

Range rover: BMW’s i3 will carry an almost $4000 premium in the US for versions featuring a range-extending petrol engine.

Range-extending back-up engine to add $4000 to BMW i3’s cost

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BMW logo11 Oct 2013

By BARRY PARK

BMW has placed an almost $4000 cost on the range-extended version of its i3 battery-powered city car, due on sale in Australia in July next year.

Although Australian pricing is yet to be confirmed, versions of the i3 on sale in the US will carry a $3850 premium for the two-cylinder, 600cc petrol engine that will double the range of the car’s batteries.

According to BMW Australia, it is still too early to say if the version of the car sold here would carry a similar premium for the extra reach – about the same cost as adding an M performance package to a 3 Series sedan.

“The pricing of the actual vehicle itself still hasn’t been finalised, so we are a ways off finalising the pricing of the different specifications,” BMW Australia general manager of corporate communications Lenore Fletcher said.

“But at this point, you would be safe to speculate that the range extender would attract an additional charge over the pure electric vehicle.”

The German luxury car brand already has a pre-production version of the i3 that will be used to introduce the buying public to its future form of urban transport. The brand also plans to introduce the i8, a sports-honed version of the car, in about December next year.

Australian pricing for the i3 is expected to start from about $70,000, or about the same price as a mid-specification 3 Series sedan.

BMW is expecting the range-extended version of the i3 to be a strong seller in Australia, where electric vehicle range anxiety – where owners worry that their electric car’s batteries will not have enough range – is a strong concern for potential owners.

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