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Latest BMW i3 and i8 Electric Prototypes Caught Hot-Weather Testing

Just the Facts:
The latest prototypes of BMW’s upcoming electric cars were spotted during hot-weather testing in southern Europe.
The i3 will feature reverse-opening rear doors.
The i8 looks as though it will use a fairly traditional interior design.

CARTAGENA, Spain — Development of the 2014 BMW i3 city car and the 2015 BMW i8 hybrid sports car is continuing, and recent prototypes spotted during hot-weather testing reveal new details about the upcoming production models.

Spy photographers were able to get a good look at the BMW i3, also known as the BMW Megacity, after it stopped on the side of the road to top off its batteries. With the hood open it’s clear that there’s not much cargo room up front even though the i3’s electric motor is located above the rear wheels and the batteries run along the bottom of the car.

The prototype also looks as though it has the same reverse-opening rear doors used on the concept. Combined with its roughly 100-inch wheelbase, the i3 should be fairly roomy, not to mention easy to get in and out of since it’s slightly bigger than a Ford Fiesta.

A quick peek inside the cabin didn’t yield much info, as most of the dashboard was still covered in camouflage. It was obvious, however, that the i3 will use a small screen for an instrument cluster like the concept, and manual seat adjusters to keep the weight down.

Although it’s not scheduled to arrive until 2014, the BMW i8 is also moving into its final production form. The latest prototype reveals some of the changes that have taken place since the original concept was revealed last summer in Munich. The windshield no longer dives down into the hood, while the side mirrors are now a more normal size. The wheels are still shockingly narrow, but they now have a more traditional BMW design.


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