BMW planted its flag in the electric car segment when it released the i3 for the 2014 model year. Quirky and hugely innovative, the city-friendly hatchback was beloved by the few who "got it" and an oddity for most others. Either way, it has reached the end of the road in the United States.
Enthusiast website BMW Blog wrote the last America-bound i3 will roll off the assembly line in July 2021, meaning the EV will not return for the 2022 model year, and Autoblog confirmed this report. There's no word on what will happen to the final i3 sent here. It could earn a spot in BMW's collection, or it could end up mercilessly street-parked in San Francisco. Act fast if you want a shot at owning it: BMW Blog added there are about 180 build slots left.
With the i3 out of the picture, the 2022 i4 will become BMW's entry-level electric car in the United States. It's a four-door sedan that's effectively the electrified version of the redesigned BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, so it's more closely aligned with BMW's ethos, and it carries a base price of $56,395, including a mandatory $995 destination charge. For context, the i3 starts at $45,445.
Unverified details published by forum Bimmer Post claim the EV will retire globally in June 2022 (along with the current 7 Series and X1). However, BMW hasn't officially said when it will stop building the i3 for global markets, let alone what — if anything — will replace the model. While it seemingly came out of nowhere, it was the product of a decades-long research program whose aim was to figure out how to make a BMW city car. We wouldn't be surprised to see another one sooner or later.
As a side note, the i3 was such a break from tradition for the Bavarian brand that Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW's design boss, told Autoblog the car nearly made its debut without the signature twin-kidney grilles. Leaving it off made the front end look odd, the kidneys are part what defines a BMW's design, so they were ultimately retained.
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