10 Things to Know About the 2014 BMW i3
1.) The BMW i3 is a purpose built electric vehicle (EV) meaning it was designed from the ground up to be an EV as opposed to removing the internal combustion engine from an existing model and trying to squeeze in EV components.
2.) The i3 has a real-world EV range of 80-100 miles, and a top speed of 93mph.
3.) Power is sent to rear wheels via a single speed transmission allowing for uninterrupted acceleration and immediate access to the available 184 lb-ft of torque.
4.) A Range Extender version of the i3 is available for an additional $3,900 featuring a 650cc gasoline engine that does not send power to the wheels, but serves as a generator. The generator keeps the battery charged at the same level of charge its at when activated. Range is extended 50-75 miles.
5.) The i3’s interior is environmentally friendly from the certified 100% responsibly forested eucalyptus wood-trimmed dashboard to the olive leaf-stained leather seats and the instrument panel surround and door trim made from fibers of the Kenaf plant.
6.) The i3 has not transmission tunnel requiring a hump in the floor which allows for what BMW calls the Slide Through Experience. The driver can slide across to the passenger seat to exit on the passenger side making the i3 particularly urban friendly.
7.) To expand on the city friendly theme, the i3’s navigation system tracks traffic and can route the driver around heavy congestion. The system can also remember a driver’s habits and take those into consideration when calculating range.
8.) The i3 boasts the interior space of a 3-Series sedan while only filling the exterior footprint of a 1-Series.
9.) Through Brake Energy Regeneration the i3’s motor acts as a generator at low speeds when the driver lifts off the accelerator—strong braking sends kinetic energy to the battery to re-charge it. The system is speed-sensitive and allows the vehicle to coast when not under active acceleration at high speeds.
10.) Drivers can select two modes to automatically change HVAC and other settings in the i3 increase efficiency. ECO PRO increases range approximately 12%. ECO PRO+ modes increases efficiency roughly 12% more.