The BMW i3 is a divisive car. People either love it’s futuristic looks and practicality, or they can’t get their head around the revolutionary design and new approach to car manufacturing.
I love the look of the i3 and think it is a great blend of future thinking design and clever packaging. Whatever your opinion on the BMW i3’s looks, the technology behind the car is revolutionary. This is noticeable from the second you enter it’s unconventional doors.
The key facts
BMW broke the mold with the i3. It really is a game-changer in the EV market and has made electric cars desirable to a whole new demographic. There are a few key features that set it apart from the other models on the market:
- It drives like a BMW. The i3 provides a sporty and entertaining rear wheel drive chassis. With all the battery weight down low, the i3 handles just as you would expect. It’s also fast enough to put a smile on your face
- Cabin access is fantastic. The pillarless rear opening doors allow a level of access that is unrivaled in this class of vehicles
- The interior is spacious and light, with a premium modern feel
- It is a genuinely upmarket, premium vehicle with all the kudos of the BMW badge
A new car from the ground up
BMW chose to approach the i3 with a completely new vision. They decided to reap the benefits of an electric drivetrain and completely redesign the construction of the vehicle.
Key to this was the decision to build most of the cars body and structure from carbon fiber. This is an ingenious modern material with incredible lightness and strength. It is now becoming common to see carbon fiber construction on high-end supercars however BMW is one of the first to implement it on a mass production city vehicle.
The inherent strength and lightness of the carbon fiber construction not only makes the i3 incredibly safe and fast but it also allowed BMW to create the fantastic pillarless door arrangement seen in the i3. If you have children, it wont take you long to appreciate the access benefits of rear opening doors. The pillarless design also allows for a feeling of wraparound windows from within the vehicle.
A totally green package
We know that driving electric cars is an important part of sustainable living; BMW has helped move this further by ensuring every step of the EV production process is as green as possible.
The interior is trimmed in recycled or low-carbon materials where possible and manufacturing processes have been streamlined. High quality imitation leather is used on the top spec cars and wood trim has been replaced with fast growing bamboo panels.
A focus on driving
Something electric cars have been accused of in the past is focusing on range and smoothness at the expense of driving enjoyment. The i3 deftly counters any of these arguments. BMW went to great lengths to ensure that the i3 could still claim the BMW slogan of “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”
For starters the i3 is noticeably lighter than the other mainstream EVs on the market at just under 1200kg and it can out accelerate almost all of them. When driving an i3 you know you are in the quickest EV this side of a Tesla.
If you don’t think you will enjoy driving an EV then we suggest coming down and giving an i3 a try
We actually think the i3 can offer a better driving experience than the considerably more expensive options from Tesla. It may lack the frankly ludicrous acceleration of a Model S but it does offer a much more engaging drive. The i3s short wheelbase and rear wheel drive provide an engaging and sporty drive.
Finally, if like me you think back nostalgically to the days when cars felt alive and the steering felt like it was actually connected to the road, you won’t be disappointed by the i3. With rear wheel drive, there is no power to corrupt the steering wheels and BMW have done a great job at prioritising steering feel and overall feedback. This is a car that has managed to get stellar reviews from the hardened petrolhead motoring media such as Top Gear and Evo.
The i3 simply feels right
The BMW i3 is a great overall package. Until you sit in one, you will struggle to appreciate just how much space BMW have manged to fit in such a small package. There is ample storage in the front and rear boots and cubby holes everywhere. Rear headroom is high enough for any normal human.
Not only this, but the whole car feels polished and well screwed together. The i3 manages to balance small car practicality with driving enjoyment and EV running costs. It really is the benchmark that all other electric cars need to try and beat. If you haven’t driven one, we suggest booking an appointment now and getting yourself in the drivers seat.