So, who wants to see a BMW i3 race around a track. That's what we thought. It's not a long video, but it is entertaining, and the way the urban EV does a 'loop' at second 25 certainly caught out eye.

The i3 is scheduled to go on sale in the US later this year and will start at $41,350. The diminutive electric vehicle has a top speed of 93 miles per hour and can hit 62 mph in 7.2 seconds. We found it a hoot to drive, but we're not sure if hardcore BMW performance fans will totally 'get' this car's performance. The i3 is great at what it does, but it wasn't born to hit the race track. After seeing this video, though, we want a crack at it, skinny wheels and all. You can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse here, where Chris Neff writes, "The i3 basically turns in on itself. This is one sharp turning radius, take a look at 24 seconds into the video. We were actually trying to get the i3 to do doughnuts, but the computer would not let the rear brake loose, still, you can see how it held and how sharp we were turning....about 27 times in a row."

Watch all 49 seconds below. And wonder with us if whatever aerial device was used to get the shot that ends at four seconds in was destroyed just after the video cuts away.



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  • 19 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 11 Months Ago
      'We had a pre-production REx version so it still needed some software programming but it works. The little engine kicked on automatically with around 5 miles left of range, once it got us up to a few more miles it turned off, it was pretty quick, it pumps energy into the battery fast. We had the chance to whip it around the track and it felt just as fast and just as planted. Erin said she thought it felt a little better balanced…..all I know is it stayed on the track and I was extremely happy about that.' (Link above) So, not a limp home mode at all! Good enough for hairy track performance! YESSS!
      MTN RANGER
      • 11 Months Ago
      Here is an article on how the video was created: http://insideevs.com/review-from-the-track-bmw-i3-gets-driven-to-the-limit-by-pro-driver-i-ride-shotgun-wvideo/ Hint, it took almost 10 hours of driving on the track. Sounds like fun.
      Sophia
      • 11 Months Ago
      bmw
      DaveMart
      • 11 Months Ago
      The way it looks is growing on me. Help!
      2 wheeled menace
      • 11 Months Ago
      Well, i gotta say that i'm impressed The curb weight is a shocker. 2634lbs. Rear wheel drive and 0-62 in 7.2 seconds; I see why you guys find it to be a thrilling ride! I still cannot get over the looks. The rear window and the 2 tone style is bad. I suppose it is more passable in the black color that they offer. It would be my dream BMW if it wasn't for that! Totally wish them the best of luck.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 11 Months Ago
      Looks like a pretty serious entry into the green car field. I'm sure I'll see them on the streets around here soon.
      DaveMart
      • 11 Months Ago
      Comprehensive CNET video i3 review here: http://insideevs.com/video-cnet-on-cars-bmw-i3-first-drive-review/ It looks really nice inside, IMO.
        DarylMc
        • 11 Months Ago
        @DaveMart
        Hi DaveMart Thanks for the link. The CNET video was interesting. I don't quite understand, but it sounds like they were saying the body is carbon fibre reinforced plastic as opposed to carbon fibre. I've read in some places that the external panels are plastic so now I'm wondering if it is not just the external panel but the whole structure. It doesn't matter to me of course but it would be interesting to learn a bit more about it. Perhaps it goes some way to explaining BMW's claims of cost savings. The styling is not everyone's or perhaps anyone's cup of tea but it is growing on me too.
          DarylMc
          • 11 Months Ago
          @DarylMc
          Thanks Steve That is what I thought but in the CNET video he seemed to be saying it was something other than regular carbon fibre.
          SteveG
          • 11 Months Ago
          @DarylMc
          All carbon fiber is carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Carbon Fiber comes in sheets not unlike any other textile material, it is then impregnated with a plastic resin.
      DaveMart
      • 11 Months Ago
      An analysis of what the writer feels is the superior fuel economy of the i3 compared to other electric cars here: http://insideevs.com/bmw-builds-the-most-efficient-purpose-built-ev-yet-the-i3/ He reckons you can hit up to 4.8 miles per kwh, much more than other electric cars. Since he doesn't give the methodology he uses to calculate what he thinks will be the EPA rated mpkw ( I just invented that! ( :-) ), I am less than wholly confident of his exact figures, but just the same there is no doubt that partly due to its low weight the i3 uses juice very economically.
      Grendal
      • 11 Months Ago
      I really love the thin seats. They didn't comment on how comfortable they are. The lack of comment leads me to believe that it doesn't feel any different. If so, then I wish a lot of other cars would use them.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        Thin seats can sacrifice some comfort, but i think that the carbon fiber body is going to soak up a lot of bumps to make up for it.
      Marcopolo
      • 11 Months Ago
      @ Dave Mart I really like this little car. Although not cheap, the extra cost is sort of justified by the BMW badge. I think the 'limp home' description of the range extender, is more of a reference to the very small fuel tank. All in all, I hope the BMW i3 will sell in serious numbers, and prove a real advance pr EV adoption. ( It'll be interesting to see how many buyers choose the RE option). The interior of the BMW i3, I was fortunate enough to test drive, left a lot to be desired in build quality and finish. I think the materials used in the cars interior, may prove to be an acquired taste. Technically, the i3 is really exciting, but it's combination of avant-garde styling and high price could deter a lot of buyers, who may decide to wait for the next generation before committing to such an expensive purchase.
        DaveMart
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Hi Marco. Glad you had fun! Its a shame the interior was not up to scratch. There was a lot of talk about the RE seriously limiting performance: http://www.plugincars.com/test-driving-bmw-i3-128868.html So in my view that being nonsense puts the i3 in a whole different class, with around 150 miles of total range, and more just a case of using the filling station. This transforms the utility of the vehicle, although the i5 whenever it happens should give it the trunk to match for more serious long distance travel. Good one, BMW
        jeff
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Marcopolo
        I agree, the weird stuff they use around the dash and door panels looks like something you would line the trunk of a car with and then cover it up with cheap carpet so it does not look so bad.... It has NO place in a $40-50K car.... It may be ECO friendly, but it looks horrable....
        Technoir
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Marcopolo
        $41,350 is not that expensive when you consider that federal and state tax breaks will further reduce the price. It could be also rather affordable to lease, if it is made available.
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