Photos: BMW i3 Concept Coupe

BMW will unveil the third model in its line of “Project i” vehicles at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week. It will be a two-door version of the i3 electric city car but, despite previous reports suggesting it would be called i4, the new concept car will be named i3 Concept Coupe.

Other than removing two doors, turning the five-door i3 hatchback into the Concept Coupe didn’t require much. The wheelbase remains the same, so what little rear legroom there was in the original i3 should be preserved. Bucket seats replace the i3 five-door’s rear bench, and they feature backrests that are molded into the trim panels.

The most unusual styling feature is definitely the rear quarter window, which looks like a pixelated teardrop. It’s hard to see what purpose the kinks in the window’s horizontal lines serve, but they do make the Concept Coupe look distinctive.

The newest i3 concept also wears striking metallic orange paint, which contrasts nicely with the car’s black trim. It makes the Concept Coupe look more like a production car and less like part of an Apple Store display.

The interior is the exact opposite; the gray-on-gray color scheme is pretty boring. The rest of the interior is basically the same as the original i3’s, including the eight-inch LCD touch screen.

The i3 Concept Coupe also features the same powertrain as the i3 five-door. It’s a 170 horsepower electric motor, driving the rear wheels. The lithium-ion battery pack should give all versions of the i3 roughly 100 miles of range per charge.

BMW first showed the i3 at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, and revised version has been making the rounds at auto shows. Pre-LA Show chatter suggested that a new iteration of the i3 would appear, but BMW has apparently decided not to apply the same numbering scheme it uses for its other coupes, all of which are even-numbered (4 Series, X4, etc.)

The i3 will be accompanied by the i8, a plug-in hybrid supercar that uses the small hatchback’s electric motor to drive its front wheels, and a 1.5-liter, turbocharged three-cylinder gasoline engine with 223 hp to power its rear wheels and charge the batteries.

BMW did not say whether the i3 Concept Coupe will be produced, but it seems like a logical next step. BMW is coupe crazy; it’s turned everything from the 3 Series sedan to the X5 crossover into coupes. With its minimal sheet metal changes, the i3 Concept Coupe would give BMW another “i” model at a relatively low cost.

However, that similarity could make the i3 Coupe less appealing to actual buyers, who go for coupes because of their evocative styling. The i3 Concept Coupe doesn’t really have that, teardrop window or not.

Product Review

No longer the underdog, the Audi Q3 is all grown up and ready to dominate

The Audi Q3 is back for a second generation and it’s better than ever before. It looks sharper, it packs more power, and it offers a longer list of tech features. We put it to the test to find out how it fares against the competition.
Product Review

With the XT4, Cadillac's tech game goes from frustrating to first class

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is the American luxury brand’s first small SUV, slotting under the XT5. Aimed at younger buyers, the XT4 is intended to be a nurturing product — something to introduce new customers and lead to future Cadillac…

BMW’s redesigned Z4 gets two turbocharged engines, long list of tech features

The redesigned BMW Z4 will be available in sDrive30i Roadster and M40i Roadster guises when it goes on sale next year. The more powerful M40i will do zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, according to BMW.

End your dependence on fossil fuels with one of these amazing electric cars

Electric cars are getting smarter, safer, and more capable with each passing year. Here are our picks for the best electric cars on the market, whether you're looking for a performance ride or a family-friendly crossover.

Amazon Alexa can now hitch a ride in any car with Echo Auto

At its massive hardware event, Amazon unveiled Echo Auto, a dashboard-mounted device that adds Alexa to any car. It's one of myriad ways Amazon is trying to integrate Alexa with cars.

Aced it! Tesla’s Model 3 earns a five-star crash-test rating

The results are in and they're great: the rear-wheel drive Tesla Model 3 has aced the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's different crash tests and earned a five-star safety rating.

At Bonneville, a 210-mph Volkswagen Jetta is nothing unusual

The Bonneville Salt Flats are the ultimate temple of speed. Follow along as Volkswagen attempts to set a record with a modified economy car, and see what makes Bonneville so special.

Audi’s subscription service lets you roll in style without commitment

Audi expanded its mobility options by launching a car subscription service in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For $1,395, buyers can choose from five models (including the Q7, the Q5, and the A4) and swap cars twice a month.

Stop the madness! Here's how to fix those squeaky brakes

Few noises are worse than the sound of squeaky brakes. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to go about fixing the issue without giving up your weekend or investing a small fortune. Here's what you need to know.

Get your camera out: Mercedes-AMG Project One supercar tests on public roads

The Mercedes-AMG Project One is a hybrid supercar incorporating genuine Formula One racing DNA. The $2.7 million Project One is entering its final stage of development, including public-road testing.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Click-to-brew beer, comfy headlamps, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

Lamborghini’s V12 flagship brings the shock and awe for SVJ duty

High-tech active aerodynamics, trick steering, and good old-fashioned horsepower help to make this Aventador the most track-capable production Lamborghini ever.

Porsche brings diesel car production to a screeching halt

Porsche has announced that it will no longer be making diesel cars. The German automaker said that, as a sports car brand, diesel fuels simply weren't as important a part of their business as other options.
Product Review

There’s a new baby Benz on the block: A-Class proves sedans aren’t dead yet

While it seems like the traditional sedan is dead, Mercedes-Benz believes otherwise. And the 2019 A-Class sedan arrives to try and capture younger buyers and sway them from competitors. We explore Seattle in one to see if it’s any good.