modern and trendy… ELECTRIC EVENT 3-12 June Cooper Tunbridge Wells
find it easier if vertically challenged. Boot capacity is 260 litres, or 1100 litres if you lower the rear seats. The over powering impression is of silent progress as the scenery through the side windows moves like a film when the mute button is pressed. The rear wheels are driven by the same electric motor, whether you choose the range-extender version or the fully electric i3. It has 168bhp, enough to take the city-focused i3 to a maximum speed of 93mph. What is surprising though is that it feels extremely nippy around town. It’s not easy to resist embarrassing larger, sports vehicles away from the traffic lights, using the 0 – 60 mph in 7.2 secs. A range of 80 to 100 miles, depending on driving style, is respectable for this sector, but the range-extender version with a 32
bhp petrol engine ups the range to 150 miles. There is a rumble when the two-cylinder petrol engine kicks in – similar to someone starting a lawnmower in a distant garden – but you’ll only really notice it when you slow down for junctions. There may have been anxiety about its moderate rate of climb, but the electric car has once and for always, taken off. The i3 is definitely an urban girl – modern, trendy, with quirky looks that are like nothing else on the road. It has a surprisingly spacious and yet genuinely interesting cabin, plus the instantaneous maximum torque makes it a hoot to drive – albeit in an urban environment. The only thing holding it back is its ultimate range – as with nearly all EVs –
but the consolation to this is the zero road tax and zero congestion charges.
‘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’
Wednesday 8th June 2016
Read the June 8th 2016 edition of the Times of Tunbridge Wells