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Old 01-22-2013, 11:25 AM   #2
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Default BMW i3 to get two-cylinder range extender


BMW has confirmed that the all-electric i3 will be offered with an optional range extender when it arrives in showrooms later this year.

Herbert Diess, the head of BMW's research and development department, said that the generator will take the form of a two-cylinder gasoline-burning engine sourced from the company's motorcycle-building division. BMW bikes are famous for their air-cooled flat-twin engines but the i3 will likely be equipped with a water-cooled straight-two that will be similar in design to the 87-horsepower unit that powers the F 800 R.

Where the engine will be mounted is not currently known.

The two-cylinder will extend the i3's range by approximately 250 miles. That is a noticeable improvement over the 60 to 90 miles that the car can travel on electricity alone, but BMW believes that most buyers will never need to turn it on.

"I imagine many buyers will order the range extender to cure their range anxiety, discovering later they need it very seldom," admitted Diess. "For those who plan a daily use of the range extender, the i3 is probably not the right choice and a plug-in hybrid model is a more suitable solution," he added.

More details about BMW's first production-bound EV will be available closer to its scheduled debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next September.
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