The 2014 BMW i3 hasn’t hit American shores yet, but our neighbors across the Atlantic are getting their first taste of a greener BMW, and they like it!
The 2014 BMW i3 is actually a totally new direction for BMW, previously, and still, involved in the dissemination of powerful (Read: fuel-inefficient) luxury cars for the sapling, budding, and successful (majestic?) executive. The BMW i3 was built, from the ground up, as an electric vehicle, including lightweight CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) safety shell, aluminum and magnesium support structure, aerodynamic features, and a pure electric powertrain.
European Car Magazine’s take on the 2014 BMW i3 starts out with, “Our futuristic 2014 BMW i3 is sharing the road with a garbage dumpster. The dumpster was blown here by a vicious crosswind, while the i3 arrived courtesy of its all-electric drivetrain.” As I was reading these words, I had the vibe that the “garbage dumpster” was actually going to be revealed as some last-century conventional vehicle that they were going to compare with the BMW i3. Reading on, however, revealed the garbage dumpster to be, literally, a wayward garbage dumpster, which required some swift maneuvering to avoid impact and an early end to the test drive.
The 2014 BMW i3 handled the evasive maneuvers with poise and little fuss, a first test for the new electric vehicle. Despite the fact that the BMW i3 is a fairly tall vehicle, it handles evasive maneuvers and high winds very well, thanks to the deceivingly-low center of gravity, courtesy of the heavy and low-slung lithium-ion battery pack and electric motors. With an 85-mile (European driving cycle) driving range (without the range-extender option), the BMW i3 might be described as a suburban or city car, and the tight turning radius adds to this image, but it’s just as capable on the open road.