First Look: 2014 BMW i3
We’re living in increasingly eco-conscious world and low emission vehicles are high on the priority list for automakers. BMW is no exception and their new 2014 i3 says “I see your low emission and I raise you no emission”
The i3’s 22-Kilowatt battery produces 170-horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The car itself is divided into two parts; first is the Drive Module comprised of the suspension, the drive components and the battery. The second is the Life Module made of ultra-strong and ultra-light carbon fiber. All-in-all the base i3 tips the scales at just over 2,600-pounds.
But let’s be honest, range is the most important number and the i3’s 80 to 100-miles of real world driving is right on par with others such as the Nissan Leaf.
Have a problem with range anxiety? Well BMW offers an optional 650cc gasoline-powered range extender, which acts as a generator feeding power to the battery rather than the wheels. In the end, it’s good enough for 200 extra miles but adds well over 200-pounds and deletes the zero emission label.
But enough about the numbers, cars are meant to be driven and I’ve been waiting a long time to get behind the wheel of this electric Bimmer.
GREG CARLOSS: So I’m finally getting to drive the BMW i3 and I’m in the perfect setting for it, downtown Los Angeles. Plenty of traffic, plenty of stop and go. As far as driving it goes, I love the torque, instant torque as with any other electric vehicle. The thing that takes some getting used to is that when you take your foot off the gas pedal, you start braking; that’s because it’s feeding energy back to the battery. But, once you get used to it you find that it’s actually pretty helpful especially in these city situations.
Sales in the U.S. are set to begin in the second quarter of 2014 with a steep base price of $41,000 without the $3,800 range extender.
Make sure to keep tuning in to MotorWeek for new road tests and the latest first driving impressions.