BMW's electric offensive started with the i3, and it appears that the model might be replaced by an electrified version of the 3 Series sedan. The idea would be to offer a direct competitor of the Tesla Model 3 and using the i3 name could be useful for BMW despite it causing mild confusion.
If you have followed the topic of an electric 3 Series, you have already seen prototypes of it on autoevolution. Now, we have three images that depict a sedan from BMW, which is badged as an i3. The images come from China, and show a trunk lid with both Chinese and Latin-alphabet badges. The vehicle in question also has the eDrive badge, which confirms the fact that it is an all-electric vehicle from BMW. Moreover, there is a “35 L” badge on the trunk lid, which means that this is a version with an extended wheelbase, as these are popular in China. Now, time for the confusing part: the vehicle also has an i3 badge. BMW fans know that the German marque has an ongoing partnership with Brilliance in China, where it manufactures vehicles complying with the requirements of the local market. The joint venture between the two partners is closing in on its 20th anniversary, which is set for 2023. While there is a strong possibility that this vehicle will only be sold in China, it does make you wonder why BMW tested all those electric 3 Series prototypes in Europe. It is clear that BMW will launch a 3 series with an all-electric drive, and that model was expected to reach the market in 2023. While we do not have an official confirmation that this model, the 2022 BMW i3 in Chinese specification, will be a global vehicle, it could happen. The source of the attached images is an unnamed Chinese website, but we found them on a Spanish website that focuses on spied vehicles.
Mind you, the BMW iX3 is built in China, and it is sold on a global scale. There is no reason why BMW would not do the same with its electric 3 Series, even though it might mean the end of the line for the ongoing BMW i3.