BMW tests all-electric 3 Series sedan; will it be built in Mexico?
Spy photos of an all-electric BMW 3 Series being tested in Europe along with a Tesla Model 3 have surfaced in several automotive sites. At first glance, it looks just like the previous prototypes of the next-generation 3 Series already seen before, but it features “Electric Test Vehicle” stickers on the front doors.
The unit also had dual exhaust tips, but according to the spy photographers, those were completely fake. Other aspects that reveal that it is electric, such as a closed-off front grille, since an electric powertrain won’t need cooling like a combustion engine would.
Last year, BMW revealed plans to introduce 12 electric vehicles by 2025, but it’s unclear when it will launch the full-electric variant of the 3 Series.
The redesigned 3 Series sedan is expected to be revealed in October at the Paris auto show and will go into production at the new BMW plant in San Luis Potosi during the first quarter of 2019.
So far, the German automaker has said there’s no plans to build electric cars in the Mexican plant for the moment, but it hasn’t completely ruled them out either. When asked about the possibility, the company has only said that the facility will have enough flexibility to respond to the market needs.
But according to experts, the 3 Series EV will sport the brand’s next-generation electric powertrains that feature a more compact drive unit as well as being modular and scalable for use in a number of models. This avoids the need for custom platforms as was the case with the i3 and i8.