Video: Matt Farah drive the BMW i3 for first time

BMW i, News, Videos | September 17th, 2015 by 9
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If you needed a bit of a break from the swirling whirlwind of technical information that is the Frankfurt Motor Show, here’s a pretty interesting …

If you needed a bit of a break from the swirling whirlwind of technical information that is the Frankfurt Motor Show, here’s a pretty interesting video for the people at The Smoking Tire. Matt Farah is the host of the YouTube-based show, which features him driving fast cars up and down twisty canyon California roads. The cars he usually tests are either very fast and powerful press cars or a borrowed car from a fan. This video is the latter kind and features the kind of car Farah rarely tests — an electric car. This one in particular, the BMW i3, Farah has never driven, so it’s interesting to see his reaction.

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Many BMW fans dislike the i3 and disregard it as a real BMW. Many tend to think the the i3 is a step in the wrong direction for BMW and are put off by an electric car wearing a blue and white roundel. Farah has no such scruples with the i3, but is genuinely surprised at how well it drives and his shock is worth noting. Farah gets to drive some of the world’s most impressive cars, so for him to be impressed by the BMW i3 proves that it’s a real-deal BMW. He even notes that in the video, how it feels like a real BMW.

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BMW i3 – Fluid Black

The video starts with a quick introduction of the car and its owner and then they take it up and down some tight canyon roads. What surprises Farah, and us as viewers as well, is just how quick the i3 is. It seems like no time that they’re moving at an incredibly rapid pace. This effect is amplified by the fact that it makes no noise doing so. Another surprising part of the video is how well the BMW i3 handles the tight roads. For a car with such skinny eco-minded tires, the i3 can dart and turn very sharply. It’s short wheelbase, light weight and low center of gravity have a lot to do with it.


One thing that really impressed me in the video was just how quiet the cabin was. The camera they used in the video was mounted to either the dashboard or inside of the windshield and, even at high speed, we never heard any wind noise or tire noise. The cabin stayed perfectly quiet. No creaking or flexing noises from the car whatsoever. Thank the Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic passenger cell for that. It’s even noted by the two in the video, just how quiet the cabin stays. It shows how good of job BMW did with designing the i3.

I can relate to Matt Farah’s shock when driving it. I felt the same shock at how well the BMW i3 drives. It’s not even that it drives well for an electric car, it’s downright fun by any metric. I’d put the i3 up against most modern sports cars, in terms of fun factor, and it’d probably win quite a few times. The instant electric torque, sharp handling, rear-wheel drive dynamics and lightweight chassis all lend themselves to making the BMW i3 one of the more enjoyable driving experiences to come out in the past few years. Last time I drove it was almost a year ago and I’ve been dying to get back in one ever since. If you haven’t yet driven an i3, I’d highly recommend taking a test drive as soon as possible. Especially when you hear how much the owner of this i3 pays a month for his.

9 responses to “Video: Matt Farah drive the BMW i3 for first time”

  1. Manny Antunes says:

    Sadly, even the owner doesn’t know that the chassis is made of CFRP. He thinks it’s Aluminum.. :/

    • CDspeed says:

      Yeah he was the furthest thing from a product specialist. He didn’t know that the 20 inch wheels are more performance oriented, and have a staggered width. The 20s aren’t sports car tires but they’re a bit better then the 19s. And his range claim of 65, come on, I’m getting 90 to 95 and I’m no Eco driver.

      • Manny Antunes says:

        I have yet to see anywhere near 90 on either of my i3s but I do have a REx.

        I do have the 20s on both and they’re definitely better than the stock 19s for grip in the dry.

        • CDspeed says:

          I drove my i3 a couple of times, and tested it by seeing how far I could go on a single charge, and was able to get into the 90s, but I did drive normally, not fast, but not gently either. And I must confess, I live in Florida, so I don’t have mountains or hills to deal with. I have the 20 inch wheels too, before they released the i3 I got to drive two different i3s one with 19s the other with 20s. I could definitely tell the difference in grip, and when people ask about the tires that difference is important to tell people.

          • Max says:

            Yes totally agree, on a normal commute with traffic and faster speed on highways I got 80miles very easy (rEX version). I think this car is much better than everyone is expecting it to be, probably just because of the design. Before I drove it I was also worried about it and electric cars in general. But after, if I would live in a big city I would really consider to get one and YES it is BMW engineering you can see/feel it everywhere.

          • CDspeed says:

            I looked at my daily driving habits, and realized pretty early that the i3 had more then enough daily range. And I don’t live in a city, I use it in a sprawling urban area, so I can say it works well everywhere. And yes it does feel 100% like a BMW, and actually a lot of BMWs have lost their handling feel, but the i3 is very direct.

  2. CDspeed says:

    The owner of the i3 did the i3 little credit, I get a lot of people asking me about my car, and I was expecting that. I’ve made it a point to know the i3 because the worst information you can give is in-accurate information.

  3. Greg says:

    @M5Manny:disqus Technically the life drive architecture is a modern take on body on frame so the chassis (Drive module) could be considered the drive and suspension systems which are aluminum. That being said I agree lots of wrong info but it definitely shines some light on how much fun the i3 is. Having plenty of mountain roads here in Colorado I have to say the i3 is a blast.

    • Manny Antunes says:

      Agreed, but Matt’s question was about the i3 being ” the least expensive car on the market with a carbon tub” Which the owner answered incorrectly.

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