BMW is ramping up its range of electric cars at an alarming rate, and in the last few months alone we’ve seen the arrival of the iX3, i4 and iX.
But it’s important to remember that these weren’t BMW’s first electric models, but rather the i3 hatchback was. Dating back to 2013, it was one of the earlier mass-market EVs and was a particularly pioneering electric car that was well ahead of its time. Perhaps it’s no surprise that BMW has kept it in production since, albeit with various changes to keep it fresh.
Here are five cool things to know about it…
It’s made from carbon-fibre
Carbon-fibre is a material usually elected by sports car and supercar makers to bring the weight out of their cars down, so it might be a surprise to find out that BMW’s little electric hatchback is made from the same material.
The ‘cell’ of the i3 is produced from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic, which helps to reduce this EV’s weight. It was the first BMW to use the material (the i8 would go on to use it), and remains by far the most affordable car to ever be made from it.
Recycled materials used throughout the interior
Many manufacturers are really stepping up their sustainability efforts, but the i3 was well ahead of the curve, and shows just how pioneering it was.
So this BMW’s interior is packed with sustainable materials, with BMW saying that more than 80 per cent of the surfaces visible to the passengers are made from recycled materials or renewable resources. These include wool, recycled plastics and open-pored unbleached eucalyptus wood to name just a few highlights.
Great fun to drive
BMW prides itself on making cars that are great to drive, and the i3 was one of the first EVs to demonstrate just how fun battery-powered cars can be. This BMW really is impressively agile to drive, while the powerful electric motor makes it feel far more like a hot hatch.
However, around town it’s brilliant too, with the relatively high-set driving position, brilliant visibility and light controls making it a doddle to drive around the city.
Sportier ‘S’ model is also available
If you want something a bit ‘more’ than the standard i3, though, BMW also offers it as a slightly sportier ‘S’ version. Introduced in 2017, this model brings a slight uplift in torque and power, allowing for quicker acceleration (0-60mph takes just 7.1 seconds) and a higher top speed.
The i3S also gets a raft of other changes, including a sports suspension setup with specially-developed springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. It also sits lower to the road than the standard car, while also being equipped with a more aggressive look and larger 20-inch alloy wheels.
Technology remains up-to-date
There’s no denying that the i3 is several years older than many of its rivals, yet it still feels remarkably current, both from a design and technology point of view.
So in terms of tech, you can still get features like keyless entry, adaptive cruise control, wireless smartphone charging and an online connectivity package, all of which means the i3 still feels just as current as many of its competitors.Enquire on a new BMW i3