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.
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.