- Autoblog test drives and reviews the 2014 BMW i3.
- BMW i3 is powered by a rear-mounted electric motor that’s putting out 170 horsepower (125 kW) and 184 lb-ft of torque. The i3 can cover up to 136 miles on a single battery charge, but the range can be increased up to 217 miles using an optional range extender. The i3 will be offered in two variants: a four-door EV and a coupe.
- Here are some basic stats of the BMW i3 and excerpt from the review:
To get the show started, it’s a typical foot-on-pedal-press-the-Start-button ritual, the result of which is the digital dash instrumentation and electrical power unit waking up. There is one tone from the sound system that indicates you have pressed the Start button, then another that signifies you are good to go. The i3′s drive selector, which shockingly does not have a capitalized sub-brand name like EDriveTronic, is a rotating handle on a stalk that branches from the 2 o’clock position on the steering column. And then you just get going by pressing the amp pedal (i.e. throttle).
If you leave the mode button on the console in Comfort, you can get pretty dang quickly to 60 miles per hour. The quoted time is 7.0 seconds flat and the i3 feels every bit capable of this through its 1:10 single reduction gear supplied by BMW’s transmission assembly facility in Dingolfing. The other two drive mode settings are Eco Pro and Eco Pro+, each providing more recharging to the lithium-ion battery assembly through forced resistance, while limiting top speed and climate control energy-scavenging. Each adds an additional 12 percent to the estimated EV range.
The test cars were fitted with skinny, rock-hard and low-rolling resistance 19-inch Bridgestone Ecopia tires, sized 155/70 R19. After just a single spirited lap of the set course in 93-mph v-max Comfort mode, it was clear that we were driving the i3 in a style for which it was never designed. If you try to make the i3 live up to the well-honed definition of “Ultimate Driving Machine,” you are categorically missing the entire point of the i3. We can expect that character of the i8 and other future sportier products from BMW i, but items such as the i3 are all about heading down the road in premium-built style and comfort while minimizing your carbon footprint more than anyone else around you. And doing so with the latest high tech.
- Engine: E-motor, 22-kWh li-ion battery
- Power: 168 HP / 184 LB-FT
- Transmission: 1-Speed
- 0-60 Time: 7.0 Seconds (est.)
- Top Speed: 93 MPH
- Drivetrain: Rear-Wheel Drive
- Curb Weight: 2,755 LBS (est.)
- Seating: 2+3
- Cargo: 8.8 / 30.0 CU-FT
- MPG: 124-Mile Range (est.)
- Full review