2014 BMW i3 spy shots
This lead shot also shows the final production version, which was caught out during an official photo shoot for the car.
If you're not familiar with the i3, it is essentially a rear-wheel-drive electric minicar due out from BMW at the end of the year.
It's aimed at providing a high degree of urban mobility while still allowing the occasional extra-urban long-distance jaunt when fitted with a range-extender, which BMW has said will be available at launch.
In the newest photos, we also get a clear look at the interior, confirming it will share much in common with the original design previewed in the first i3 concept car unveiled in 2011.
From earlier spy photos, we see the rear-opening passenger side door, somewhat like the MINI Clubman's arrangement, and a taste of the less-glassy production-intent body shape and styling.
While the i3 retains the stubby proportions inherent to the minicar class, it wears them well, thanks in part to what appear to be large, if narrow, wheels, and a raked, extended windshield.
According to a previous report, BMW is targeting a very low price point--right around $40k in the U.S. This should get you the basic model, which comes with a 167-horsepower electric motor driving the rear wheels and powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. The total driving range is expected to be about 80 to 100 miles, while the range-extending gasoline engine will help lift that figure to around 186 miles.
The original concept version claims a 0-60 mph sprint of under 8 seconds, making it not exactly quick, but far from pokey. Key to its performance will be lightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastic used for its body.
Charging is claimed to be quick, too, with a high-speed charger juicing the lithium-ion battery pack to 80 percent in one hour.
There is still a little bit of development before the i3 reaches production, but if the retail car reaches the goals of the concept, at a rate of 40,000 sold per year globally, the i3 could be a very attractive option for urban dwellers and suburbanites alike. While you wait for its arrival, click here to watch a spy video of a prototype.
Note, BMW is also working on a high-end sports car called the i8, which will be the range-topper of its i sub-brand for eco-friendly models. You can watch a spy video of it, too, by clicking here.