BMW i3 First Drive Review – Autocar

BMW i | October 10th, 2013 by 0
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The first reviews of the BMW i3 are in. First one to test drive and review the BMW i3 is the UK magazine Autocar. We’re …

The first reviews of the BMW i3 are in. First one to test drive and review the BMW i3 is the UK magazine Autocar.

We’re skipping the design and technical specs and let’s have a look at the driving experience:

“With 168bhp and 184lb ft of torque the moment you brush the throttle, the new BMW is more than merely brisk. In fact, its performance is good enough to match some big name hot hatches with 0-37mph in 3.7sec, 0-62mph in 7.2sec and a 50-75mph split of 4.9sec. Traction is excellent, even on a heavily loaded throttle away from the lights, without any hint of wheelspin or interruption from the various electronic driving aids.  The nominal 93mph top speed is limited to preserve the battery charge.

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The sporting impression is reinforced by relatively light and direct steering. In combination with a low centre of gravity, this endows the i3 with swift and sharp directional change response for excellent maneuverability in urban driving conditions. The electro-mechanical steering system is shared, in part, with the next generation Mini hatchback and becomes more direct as lock is wound on, although there’s sufficient response from the centre position to provide class leading levels of low speed agility. Indeed, in the cut and thrust of city traffic, the new BMW is extraordinarily agile and fun to drive.

The i3 has been configured to provide quite dramatic driveline braking the moment you step off the throttle, at which kinetic energy is fed back into the batteries.

This constantly maximises the level of energy recuperation and means you rarely need to engage the brake pedal except when you come to a complete standstill. However, the braking effect is predetermined and cannot be altered as on other recent plug-in electric cars.

There are times, especially on the open road, where a multi-stage recuperation system or even a free-wheeling coasting function would come in handy, even if it meant trading out some of the kinetic energy-producing potential, and with it ultimate range.”

Full review at Autocar

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