The BMW i3 is not exactly a traditional BMW. Bavarian machines are usually raucous machines with straight six engines under the hood and used for a number of purposes, including – of course – drifting. Their rear-wheel drive setups and perfect balance allow them to be perfect candidates for drifting competitions but when it comes to the i3, the approach was rather different as the i car was developed to save the earth not throw dirt around.
However, when you think about it, the i3 is the perfect candidate for drifting. Its steering rack is fast and the car is light on its feet. Chip in rear-wheel drive, a low center of gravity, narrow tires and instant torque and you get the recipe for a tire-smashing machine doing extreme angles while tearing up asphalt. That’s what Finnish rally legend Rauno Aaltonen seems to think as well, as he was invited by the people from CarJam TV to take an i3 out for a spin to see how it behaves in the dirt.
Needless to say, Aaltonen was impressed and actually praised the electric hatch for its maneuverability. “Once you understand it, it’s great fun. It feels like you would be in a car with a thousand horsepower. To drift the i3 is easy, nice. I love it,” said Aaltonen. And we wholeheartedly agree and might add that the i3 is fun not only in the dirt but also on tarmac. The combination of power, instant torque and narrow tires makes its rear end lively and fun to push to the limit.
One interesting tidbit we noticed about his time behind the wheel is that, in typical Finnish rally driver fashion, he never cracked a smile while filming all those great shots. I guess it’s a genetics thing, as they focus more on the driving than actually enjoying their time behind the wheel?