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72  ADVERTISING

This is an urban girl FIRST DRIVE By David Thackeray THERE is no doubt that in the car evolution race, electric vehicles could have put in more effort. After all, they were first off the start line in 1837 compared with 1864 for internal combustion. Plus, they didn’t smell, were clean and above all didn’t frighten the horses. And at that time they were probably faster. But we have come a long way regarding our views on sustainability and effects on the planet. So, if you’re after a new experience, the BMW i3 has a lot more in common with the Apple ethos than that of a car manufacturer. To say the i3 breaks the mould of BMW might be a bit of a stretch – there is no doubting its lineage is German – but no-one

Wednesday 8th June 2016

has invested more than BMW in the luxury EV market. The styling is of the crossover genre that is much in vogue but with that unmistakable BMW family resemblance that gives you the assurance of high build quality. Attention to detail is obvious from the moment you hear the click of the doors closing. The use of Kevlar and aluminium makes sense for structural rigidity and, with a low centre of gravity courtesy of the clever positioning of its batteries, makes for an exceptional ride quality and the perfect platform for sound road-holding you would expect in the larger executive class rather than in this small to medium sector. It’s quite spacious up front, helped by the lack of a central handbrake and a gear selector that’s located on the steering

column instead of between the seats. There are two displays. The central one shows intuitive sat-nav and infotainment selections, while a smaller rectangular readout takes the place of conventional instruments behind the wheel. It’s all easy to use, helped by a version of BMW’s iDrive controller. The tall windows and boxy body make the i3’s extremities easy to judge when in a race for that elusive parking space. It has rear ‘suicide’ passenger doors (hinged at the back) with no ‘B’ pillar, which aids access to the two rear seats, but adults will

Times of Tunbridge Wells 8th June 2016  

Read the June 8th 2016 edition of the Times of Tunbridge Wells

Times of Tunbridge Wells 8th June 2016  

Read the June 8th 2016 edition of the Times of Tunbridge Wells