The All-Electric BMW i3
The German car maker’s all-electric hatchback, which packs the equivalent of 170 HP into its electric engine. But an unexpected reviewer might be the perfect candidate for an unexpected car.
The car, which was on limited display at CES back in January, is on sale as of May in the U.S. and should go on sale shortly in Canada. The version I drove features an optional range extender which adds around 90km of fuel-powered driving via a backup 650cc motor, but the base trim features only the electric motor, with an eight-module battery located along the length of the floor that delivers a maximum of 160km in normal mode, or up to 200km in Eco Pro or Eco Pro+ energy conservation modes.
While BMW had the technical ability to make a car with a 400km range, like those offered by some of its competitors, the company tells me that it wanted to emphasize the driving experience first, rather than squeeze every last little bit of range out of the battery. The result is an engine that doesn’t feel like what you’d expect from an electric car: the i3 can jump from 0 to 60km/h in under four seconds, and leaps to 100km/h in just over 7. Plus, it doesn’t shift like traditional engines, and gives you the full torque of the engine right from the get-go.