BMW is calling time on its i3 and celebrating the model’s nine-year run with a handful of special Home Run Editions.
Just 10 units have been built, each based on an all-electric i3S finished in Frozen Dark Gray or Frozen Red II paint from BMW’s Individual personalization program. Home Run cars also get 20-in double-spoke wheels, an electric glass sunroof with solar control glazing and adaptive headlights.
Interior details include Vernasca Dark Truffle upholstery, a leather instrument panel, Carum Grey headliner and ambient lighting, plus heated seats, Park Distance Control, BMW Professional navigation and a Harmon Kardon Hi-Fi. The 10-unit run has already been produced and sold, with BMW commenting that Home Run buyers were able to watch their cars being constructed in the assembly hall at BMW Plant Leipzig.
The i3 was one of the pioneers of the modern electric age and only earlier this week the 250,000th example rolled off the Leipzig, Germany, plant where production began in 2013. BMW says that makes it the world’s most successful EV in the premium compact segment, although let’s face it, there hasn’t been an awful lot of competition.
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Though small in stature, the i3 wasn’t particularly small in price, and not only due to the cost of its electric hardware. The 157-in (4 m) EV consisted of an aluminum chassis and drive module and the kind of carbon-fiber passenger cell normally only found on high-end supercars. Some cars also featured an innovative interior built using recycled materials, and BMW offered a choice of pure EV and range-extender hybrid powertrains.
U.S. sales of the i3 ended in 2021, but the close of i3 production for the rest of the world doesn’t mean the end of the Leipzig plant. The factory had already begun making high-voltage battery modules for other BMW vehicles starting in May 2021, and from 2023 it will be the production base for the next-generation Mini Countryman, including that car’s EV variant.