The design of the BMW i3



The design of the BMW i3.

It all began with a blank sheet of paper. To help us think beyond the horizon, we first had to rethink the very concept of the car more fundamentally than ever before. This opened up new avenues for us to explore. And given that, in a car, each piece of the puzzle depends on all the others, electric driving took on entirely new forms – forms that reflect a whole new take on urban living. While the BMW i3 is immediately recognisable as a genuine BMW, a closer look at its exterior, for example, will illustrate how its sensational design is nevertheless transforming our image of mobility.
Progressive and at the same time eminently sustainable, the design of the BMW i3 has won numerous awards. The international accolades include such prestigious honours as the iF gold product design award, the World Green Car award and the World Car Design of the Year award.

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Together with his team of development engineers, Head of Design Benoît Jacob created a vehicle that is geared to sustainable electric mobility throughout. With the LifeDrive module, a completely new vehicle architecture was developed, consisting of two independent units: the Life module, comprising the passenger cell made of carbon, and the aluminium Drive module, with chassis and drive train components as well as the high-voltage battery. At the same time the car’s unique character emerges most clearly in the interior: innovative and sustainable materials such as carbon and wood are not just used in the car but carefully highlighted. In this way the BMW i3 creates new values that are not only visible but tactile as well.




Electric mobility is a win-win situation − when it is designed systematically from the ground up. For example, locating the relatively compact electric motor at the rear creates space at the front for the wheels to turn further in, making the car easier to park and more manoeuvrable. Another defining feature of the sustainability of the BMW i3 is the large yet narrow tyres and the aerodynamic wheel rims. Both features help reduce rolling resistance, perfecting the overall performance of the BMW i3 while out and about.
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carbon construction


Another example is the use of carbon which has cleared the way for a more open passenger cell. The carbon construction enables the central B-pillar to be integrated into the doors. So when the opposing coach doors swing open they allow unrestricted access to the interior. And thanks to the slightly raised seating position and the BMW streamflow design with the windows merging into one another, you also enjoy greater all-round visibility.
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LED Headlights


Providing perfect visibility at night is the job of the U-shaped LED headlights. These were specially designed for the BMW i3 and lend the front of the car its characteristic looks.
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Black belt


One particularly distinctive feature of the BMW i3 is the Black Belt that runs from the bonnet across the roof to the rear. This underlines the car’s innovative LifeDrive architecture and gives the passenger cell an even lighter look.
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Kidney grille


Electric motors also need cooling, but as the cooling requirements are way below those of an internal combustion engine, the characteristic BMW kidney grille features a closed design. This brings out the leading-edge character of the BMW i3, particularly when finished with a splash of colour.
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Interior design


There is no centre tunnel between the driver and the front-seat passenger. There is also no B-pillar between the opposing doors.
Inside the BMW i3 you can experience sustainability at first hand, because a large proportion of the materials used here are sourced from renewable and recycled raw materials. At the same time they underscore the sophistication and spaciousness of the interior, giving rise to an elegant, loft-like atmosphere and taking the overall sustainability to the next level.

Sustainable. Functional. Unique.

Experience the interior design of the BMW i3.



  • LOFT.
  • LODGE.
  • SUITE.


What happens when BMW i Partners with, the prizewinning online platform for the style-driven male? A limited edition, one-of-a-kind BMW i3 featuring the unique MR PORTER design. This head-turning BMW i3 is the perfect companion for fashion-oriented men who value a dash of extravagance.

In creating this premium edition in collaboration with the Mr Porter design team, the characteristic features of the BMW i have been enhanced with numerous exceptional highlights. The vehicle’s exclusive tuxedo blue exterior is offset with white accents on the side mirrors, door sills and kidney grilles. An additional feature are the hand-painted white accent lines with Mr Porter lettering. The style flows on into the interior: a white inner ring on the steering wheel, white stitching in the floor mats and dark oak trim with individual Mr Porter engraving round out the high-quality design concept.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

  • Power consumption and CO2 emissions for the BMW i3 (94 Ah):
    Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 0
    CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 0
    Power consumption in kWh/100 km: 12.6* / 13.1**

    Power consumption and CO2 emissions for the BMW i3 (94 Ah) with Range Extender:
    CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 12* / 13**
    Power consumption in kWh/100 km (combined): 11.3* / 11.9**
    Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 0.6

    * Wheels cluster 1: 19‘‘ wheels

    ** Wheels cluster 2: 20“ wheels; winter tyres

    The figures for fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and power consumption depend on the wheel and tyre sizes selected.

    The driving range depends on a variety of factors, especially: personal driving behaviour, selected route, weather conditions, usage of heating/cooling and preconditioning.

    Further information about the official fuel consumption and the official specific CO2 emissions for new passenger automobiles can be found in the 'New Passenger Vehicle Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emission Guidelines', which are available free of charge at all sales outlets and from DAT Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH, Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern, Germany.