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Another Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2 rival: BMW i3 transforms into an electric 3 Series for China, but could it be offered in Australia?

The BMW i3 sedan is unlikely to make it to Australia but buyers can opt for an i4 instead.

BMW has added yet another fully electric model to its line-up, and this time it’s a charged-up version of its most famous model.

The German carmaker has resurrected the i3 name for the new all-electric version of the 3 Series sedan, in long-wheelbase guise.

Australian buyers hoping to get their hands on the new i3 shouldn’t get their hopes up. The new EV is built in China by BMW’s partner Brilliance Automotive as a China-only model and it’s unlikely to be offered to any other markets.

BMW does have the similar i4 four-door should local buyers want a BMW electric sedan.

The BMW i3 eDrive35L has an 11cm longer wheelbase compared with the regular 3 Series and the company says it has a “premium rear-seat experience”.

Underpinning the new i3 is BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive powertrain, some of which is shared with other BMW EVs including the iX, iX3 and i4.

The i3 outputs 210kW of power and 400Nm of torque and has a 70.3kWh battery capacity. It can cover 0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds and has a driving range of 526km according to China’s CLTC protocol.

BMW previously used i3 for its first dedicated electric model, a small B-segment hatchback that has been manufactured at BMW’s Leipzig factory since 2013. Production of the iconic city car will end in July this year.

This year is a busy one for BMW and electric vehicles. It has recently launched the iX and iX3 SUVs and the i4 lands in showrooms this month.