Let’s face it; we exist in a market where the mere mention of the words ‘electric’ and ‘car’ elicits mass shouting-down. See, most of the vehicle brands we have out there are simply gas versions hurriedly converted and thrown into “the future.” The BMW i3 has, however, done just about everything to warrant the attention of the quintessential car enthusiast.
When fully charged, the BMWi3 is always ready to go where you want. It comes with a calm, low rpm torque shove that is, of course, aided by an electric motor. The driver’s area has two pedals, but you really won’t need the second.The car’s regenerative brakes can halt from 70mph within as little as 160 feet.
At 3135 pounds, this vehicle is over 300 pounds heavier than the conventional electric car. Flat-pedal acceleration will push you to 60 mph in seven seconds flat. The electric BMWi3’s steering is considered quick, averaging at 2.6 turns lock-to-lock. The rear axle in this car carries 54.8% of its total weight, and which helps when it comes down to drift and stability. Motion is smooth whether the car is flying along the road or puttering by at near-zero acceleration.
Range Extension Option
i3 enthusiasts will be glad to know that the vehicle is capable of covering up to 72 miles while running on electricity. Minus the heavy range extender, this distance rockets to 81 miles. The extender is a 647-cc engine whose sole task is to turn a 34-hp generator. The gas engine present here is never used to drive the wheels as is common practice with other models. BMWi3’s extender has been built in such a way that it creates a buffer zone to compensate between turning the wheels and charging the generator. The gas reservoir comes to about 1.9 gallons small.
Many people have used the words ‘dorky’ and ‘ugly’, but this car is simply just different from what we are used to. The dashboard leans toward the antique, and the storage, although plain, is useful. The door bins are large enough; the cup holders are as comfy as BMW can allow and the driving position is as good as they come. The iDrive system is techie enough without compromising on navigation and safety.
The BMWi3 is certainly one of those machines that come straight from the future. The model is getting plenty of flak for its monumental reservoir, dorky looks and limiting provisions, but it is clearly a design that takes plenty into consideration. It allows you to cruise when you can and lets you wobble when you want to. Its technology is great, and the presence of ambience makes things better.
Video courtesy of Chasing Cars.