BMW's new i sub-brand is dedicated to creating vehicles that are made of innovative materials, motivated by innovative powertrains, styled in an innovative idiom, and created to appeal to innovative urban dwellers worldwide. The i3 is its first production vehicle: a sporting, rear-wheel-drive, electric-powered hatchback with funky center-opening rear doors, carbon-fiber body panels, exotic alloy underpinnings, and hemp-reinforced plastic interior trim. It can go 80 to 100 balanced miles on batteries alone. Equip it with the tiny gasoline-powered range-extending onboard charger and you can double that. [Base price: $42,275; with range extender, $46,125; less $7,500 federal rebate: $34,775–$38,625; bmw.com]
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