The BMW i3 is a futuristic vehicle, including everything you you’d expect from BMW, but perhaps less of what you’d expect in an electric vehicle.
As more and more emphasis is being put on battery capacity and electric vehicle range, we’re seeing promises of 200 miles, 300 miles, even 1,000 miles (promises, mind you, not deliveries), but what about everything else that makes a car great to drive? The Tesla Model S shines in this area, EPA-rated at 200 miles for the 60 kWh version, performing like a sports car and outfitted like a luxury car. On the other hand, the Nissan LEAF is somewhat more basic, offering around a hundred miles range in a non-luxury, non-performance package. The Nissan LEAF is also less expensive, and performs better than conventional cars in its class.
What if you could get an electric vehicle with “all of the above?” This seems to be the approach of the BMW i3, which has just hit the roads in the EU. The electric vehicle hatchback, extended-range in the second trim level, which is outfitted with all the wonders of modern BMW technology, such as automatic parallel parking, adaptive cruise control, and electronic stability control. It’s also quite the performer as an electric vehicle, the 127 kW electric motor-generator delivering all its torque right from the starting line, steering and suspension tuned to handle like the hot-hatch that it is. There’s two things that people might not “get” at first when it comes to the BMW i3, however, its looks and its range.
From the outside, the BMW i3 looks like something out of TRON, which may be instantly polarizing. On the other hand, inside the car is all BMW comfort and convenience. When you’re inside, are you really looking at the outside of the car, anyway? Still, there’s the range, a scant 80 to 100 miles, actually close to that of the Nissan LEAF, which begs the question, “Which is better? Range or Fun-to-Drive Quotient?” BMW focused on the latter and, considering the average American drives less than 30 miles per day, wouldn’t it be nice to drive a BMW?
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