2014 BMW i3 First drive review MSN Autos

29 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2014 BMW i3 First drive review MSN Autos отключены
BMW i3 � Electric Car 127kW Auto

Is the new electric city car enough of a BMW?

BMW has a lot of money and cultural cachet invested in the first model of its EV lineup. The i3 carries the BMW famed double-kidney grille, but it’s purely symbolic — the urban runabout’s electric motor requires no cooling.

It’s not an overstatement to say that the i3 is one of the most significant vehicles ever introduced by BMW. and the company has a lot riding on its success. While the German automaker has a long, successful history of producing performance-oriented luxury cars, this is its first all-electric vehicle. It’s also the debut of BMW’s new and separate EV-only i brand.

Beyond being BMW’s first major stake in the EV market, the company believes the i3 heralds the dawn of a new age in electromobility, a company official proclaimed at a test-drive MSN Autos attended in Amsterdam. While this may sound like the customary PR puffery that comes with the launch of almost any new vehicle, the i3 does mark a huge shift for the company, and for reasons that run deeper than the car’s radical exterior and interior design.

BMW has grand plans for how the i brand will fit into the future of transportation, but what we wanted to know is what it’s like to drive the i3 on today’s roads — and whether consumers should consider buying one when the car hits U.S. showrooms in 2014. That likely depends on two factors: How loyal you are to the brand if you’re a dedicated previous owner, and whether you’re less of a BMW fanatic but simply want an upscale but downsized EV.

View Pictures:   2014 BMW i3

BMW i3 � Electric Car 127kW Auto

Model lineup

The U.S. version of the i3 will be available in three trim levels: Mega, Giga and Terra. All three come standard with air conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, LED daytime driving lights, a backup sensing system, USB and auxiliary-in ports, hands-free Bluetooth, BMW’s base-level navigation system, and a charging cable for use with a standard residential 110-volt electric socket.

Options include a rearview camera, automatically dimming rear-view and exterior mirrors; adaptive cruise control with a fully automatic stop-and-go function; BMW’s Traffic Jam Assistant to keep a car centered in its lane; pedestrian recognition and collision warning with automatic braking under 37 mph; and automatic parking. Some of these are grouped into option packages and some are standard on higher trim levels.

An example of how different the i3 is from other BMWs — and how the company considers it just a piece of the transportation puzzle — is that it will come with features that aren’t even part of the car. An Intermodal Routing feature found on the BMW i remote smartphone app will indicate to a driver when it may be better to take alternative forms of transportation such as trains and busses when the traffic gets too heavy to continue by car. Another is the availability of long-range loaner vehicles for when an i3 owner wants to take a trip that exceeds the battery’s range.

BMW i3 � Electric Car 127kW Auto
BMW i3 � Electric Car 127kW Auto

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