BMW i3 first glance, it’s hard to figure out what in category to place the new BMW i3/i3s. It looks somewhat like a more compact SUV with the rear hatch, but with its low, road-hugging frame it also resembles a funky sedan.
Irrespective of the category, the BMW i3 is a competition in the electric car space, providing a blend of environmentally friendly with the high quality and luxury BMW is known for. BMW drivers expect the pace and exemplary handling and the BMW i3 is no different. From the words of BMW, the i3 is”the sole EV that plays like a BMW”.
The BMW i3 is powered through an all-electric engine using the functionality of 170 hp and a torque of 250 Nm and reaches a high rate of 160 km. Coupled with a fully-electric eDrive drive train, the i3 delivers a smooth and silent acceleration that clocks 0-100 km/h in a mere 7 seconds.
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Another contributing factor to this acceleration speed is the framework, which is built using Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP), routinely discovered on racing cars, it is as strong as steel but just half the weight. The two-part construction of the framework, known as LifeDrive, helps to reduce weight and increase the driving range to about 200 km before a charge is needed.
Not enough? The optional Range Extender kicks in once the battery is low on charge and may extend the range approximately another 100km. The environmentally friendly facets of the i3 continue to the minimalistic interior, fitted with fine leather upholstery that’s naturally tanned with an olive oil extract to hinder fading and wear.
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The dashboard is accented with an inlay of sustainable open-pore eucalyptus wood, offering a warm visual complement to the operational elements and 5.7″ TFT colour digital display. The interior is surprisingly roomy, though those seated in the rear seats don’t have the choice of rolling windows down. The back seats also fold flat for optimal storage.
The exterior surface is modern, with six brilliant two-tone paint alternatives out there. What could be somewhat of a bet for the consumer is instead of having full-size rear doors, access into the rear seat is via”trainer doors” that open outward when the front doors have been opened first, making it a somewhat two-door and somewhat sedan.
This could prove to be an entry obstacle, particularly for families and if considering the starting cost of around USD$45,000.