BMW i3 AskMen

1 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи BMW i3 AskMen отключены
BMW i3 � Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto

BMW i3

Does BMW’s Electric Car Live Up To Its Driving Heritage?

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Surprisingly, the i3 can whoosh from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds considerably faster than Cadillac’s upcoming Volt-based ELR that clocks in at 8.8 seconds (never mind the Yaris’ 9.4 and Fit’s 9.1 secs). It also boasts a peppy 0 to 60 km/h time of 3.8 seconds, a more telling stat given it’s what you’ll experience driving around crowded city streets.

With increased confidence, I aimed the i3 up into the 10 Interstate to test its stability at higher speeds. As this was off the prescribed route, I thought maybe BMW wanted to avoid the freeway; maybe they feared the i3’s narrowness, tall profile and skinny tires might cause it to appear wobbly. But the i3 felt quite solid on the freeway BMW should rethink its route. You could overtake slower cars with a slight depression of the throttle; there was no omnipresent fear of getting squished by mac trucks.

Zipping in and out of traffic didn’t feel like a …-defying stunt, but rather the indulgence of puckish agility.

The one aspect I found quite annoying was its regenerative braking. Lift your foot off the throttle and the engine instantly brakes to regain as much energy as possible. Nearly every EV employs this system, but in the i3 it’s tuned much too aggressively you can easily stop the car just by lifting off throttle. After a while you’ll find yourself making a game out of this on bustling city streets, seeing how long you can drive without ever touching the brake.

It can get exhausting.

The most polarising aspect of the i3 will surely be its exterior design. Some love it, some hate it I witnessed both opinions while sitting at the traffic light across from La Cita, one of L.A.’s best dive bars/Mexican juke joints. While some hipsters at the corner whipped out their iPhones to take pics, the guy in the 5-Series Bimmer next to me gave the gas face. Apparently, he didn’t approve of the complex puzzle/Transformer look of the i3. There is a curious need from auto manufacturers to bestow their alternative fuel vehicles with super future-forward design, as if in the future all things will be designed by Autobots.

BMW i3 � Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto

But I think the i3’s exterior works. It doesn’t want to imitate the bolted-on shell look of the Prius or Leaf, but nor does it want to be mistaken for BMW’s petrol-chugging kin.

Pricewise ($42,275 base; $46,125 with range extender), the i3 sits above green vehicles like the Prius, Leaf and Volt, and well below their more upscale cousins like the Tesla Model S and Cadillac’s soon-to-be released ELR. While the i3 may certainly threaten the latter, my feeling is that the i3 will bite more into the higher-trim level Prius and Leaf markets than Tesla and Caddy, wooing away more sophisticated or design-oriented buyers. Of course, its range is a bit limited, somewhere between 120 and 160 kilometres on a single charge. But you can fill the battery in about 3.5 hours with a Level 2 (240-volt) charger, and as quickly as 30 minutes with the rather rare Level 3 SAE chargers.

The tiny 2.4-gallon tank will buy you another 150 kilometres or so, should you choose the range extender.

Some will complain that the i3 does not comport itself with BMW’s staunch performance-first ideology. Sorry purists, but that’s OK. They don’t all have to be M-branded asphalt-scraping torchers with an eye on the track. To survive in the modern market, Bimmer must also make cars with an eye on the future.

And while it certainly is not the Ultimate Driving Machine, the i3 is ultimately a machine worth driving.

BMW i3 � Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto
BMW i3 � Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto
BMW i3 � Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto
BMW i3 � Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto
BMW i3 � Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto
BMW i3 � Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto
BMW i3 � Electric Car 127kW with Range Extender Auto

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