Top Gear’s host Jeremy Clarkson publishes his Top 100 cars rankings for 2013. BMW Group is well represented in the exclusive top and some of the newer models are even sitting at the top of their categories.
In the Electric Cars & Hybrids category, the number one spot goes to the all-new, yet to hit the market, BMW i3. We have recently sampled the BMW i3 in Amsterdam and left inspired by the little, premium and fun megacity vehicle. Here is our review.
And here is what Clarkson had to say about the i3:
1. BMW i3
BMW bided its time while others took their first tentative steps into the electric car market, and its i3 may be the game-changer the world has been waiting for — which could not be said of the slow-selling Nissan Leaf that blazed the trail. The i3’s brilliance arises not from revolutionary battery technology, but from being a car someone might consider buying for reasons other than the fact it’s electric.
Unlike the Leaf, it’s fast — hitting 62mph in a very BMW-like 7.2 seconds — as well as advanced, with an aluminium structure and state-of-the-art carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic bodywork. It’s also stylish, from the futuristic exterior to the Apple-inspired dashboard.
You might, therefore, expect the i3 to be priced through the roof, but it’s not: the car costs about the same as a top-of-the- range Leaf. And that’s no contest at all.
Even though many journalists are resisting to place the BMW i8 in the supercars category, Clarkson has no problem included the i8 among super cars like the Ferrari F12berlinetta, McLaren P1 or Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series.
Furthermore, he ranks the BMW i8 as being second in this exclusive top. Here is our test drive of BMW i8.
The BMW i8 is proof that environmental concerns need not spell the end of the interesting car. If you believe the numbers, this is a vehicle that accelerates like a Maserati but drinks fuel like a moped. Of course, numbers are just numbers, and nobody expects even a plug-in hybrid supercar to manage 113mpg, but the i8’s 0-62mph time of 4.4 seconds is real enough and, if its consumption is only half as good as is claimed, it is still a giant leap forward for the eco-conscious supercar.
You may not be bothered by any of this. You may instead see a supercar shape so futuristic as to make all others look obsolete, and then decide there’s nothing on earth you’d prefer to be seen in. With its scissor doors, low-slung nose and postmodern tail, the i8 is going to be bought every bit as much for its shape as for the technology within it. For the record, though, the 155mph i8 has a 1.5-litre turbo engine and an electric motor to give a total of 357bhp, and an electric-only range of 22 miles.
Not a big surprise in the Family and Estate cars category. The F30 BMW 3 Series Sedan comes in second.
BMW 3 Series
BMW has a history of niche products that miss the top of their class by a mile — witness the Z4 and X6. But when it comes to the 3-series, which needs to sell in millions and rake in billions, it never puts a foot wrong. The core model, the 320d SE is, in fact, two cars rolled into one. For long-distance users it provides the best mechanical refinement in the class and more than 60mpg, and with better performance and handling than the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-class, the 3-series looks set to continue its reign as the world’s best small saloon.