The BMW i3 has gotten considerable attention for its electric powertrain and carbon fiber body structure, and rightly so.
But more groundbreaking innovations -- BMW's vision of eco-friendly urban transportation -- can be found in the cockpit.
Check out those thin-profile front seats, which weigh only half as much as those of a 1-series sedan. Next, check out the i3's door panels, which are made of kenaf, a hemp-like natural fiber.
BMW didn't use vinyl, leather or anything else to cover up those panels, and it didn't conceal the car's carbon-fiber doorsills.
"We didn't want to hide it," said Jose Guerrero, the BMW i product manager for the United States. "We wanted the i3 to have the look of a New York City loft, which uses exposed brick."
The i3 went on sale in Europe in November. It is expected in U.S. showrooms about April. CEO Norbert Reithofer said during the i3's unveiling in July that BMW expected about 10,000 global sales of the car in 2014.
The most significant interior feature could turn out to be those ultrathin seats, which create significantly more leg space for rear passengers.