It's been a few months since our first quick spin behind the wheel of the BMW i3
. We can only imagine the challenges BMW
is going to have explaining the i3
electric vehicle to the world (which starts at $44,950 here in Canada
). It's got a new powertain (all-electric, with optional range extender), a new production method (carbon fibre reinforced plastic
), a new brand (the 'i' line) and a new vehicle type (it's a city car). Despite everything that's different, BMW is still trying to talk about the i3 as if it fits in with the rest of the company's vehicles. But it doesn't. Not really. And that's going to make the marketing and salespeoples' jobs quite difficult.
Which is a shame, really, since the i3 is amazing. If it didn't carry the BMW 'heritage' baggage, people would be falling over each other to sing its praises. This is one of the smoothest, roomiest and slickest electric vehicles we've ever driven, with a lot of hidden surprises. It is a wonderful city car, and well designed for the car-sharing, emissions-aware drivers of the near future. But since the i3 carries the BMW name, everyone we ran into during our time with the car wanted to know one thing: is it "a BMW" as well as being an electric car?
During one point in our test drive, a police car pulled up next to us, totally stopping traffic. While my co-driver and I instantly thought we were going to be asked to move, the officer simply wanted to know what the hype was about with all the new BMW i3s he had seen from our group that day. Oh, and does it drive like a BMW? Click here to watch the video posted above
as we'll explore and answer that question (and more) in full detail.