Offering more than just a relaxed driving experience, the BMW i3is a fabulous challenger in the EV stakes. Designed and manufactured to provide a finer touch to the current Electric Vehicle market, the BMW i3 leasing is a terrific option for motorists considering zero emission motoring.
Motorists can opt for the range extending motorbike engine that helps keep the charge within the cars battery packs, even without this accessory, range is good, offering between 80 and 125 miles, far more than some other competitors.
Using a responsive and punchy electric motor developing 168bhp, the i3 delivers more than enough power to drive as well as any 'regular' BMW. The i3 uses sustainable materials within its interior, offering a wide choice of options to choose from. Take a look at our latest BMW i3 lease deals below.
The light weight of a specially developed state-of-the-art carbon fibre and aluminium chassis further helps extend that mileage and, along with the startling power of the battery pack, also plays its part in creating the kind of dynamic driving experience you simply wouldn’t expect an electric vehicle to be able to provide. But then this is BMW’s approach to EV motoring. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.
It was only a matter of time before the prestigious brands entered the mainstream electric vehicle market. BMW was the first and this is the car they’ve bought us – the clever, futuristic i3.
In some ways, it’s a car of contradictions. An individual choice, yet with mass appeal, and an eco warrior that a petrol head might also enjoy. Ultimately though, it’s a BMW born to be electric – which ought to be a very good thing indeed.
You take your place on the high-set driver’s seat and survey the elevated view it offers of the road ahead – surely ideal for urban motoring. Here is a driving environment very different from the kind you’ll be used to – no gearstick, no instrument cluster and all the information you’ll need marshalled by two free-standing screens. When you press the Start button, which in response delivers a chime rather than the sound of a starter motor, then you’ve only to twist the column-mounted gear selector to ‘Drive’. There’s no ‘creep’ like you’d get from a conventional auto but brush the throttle and the i3 eases away with a gentle whirr from its electric powerplant. At last, it seems, the 21st century has properly arrived.
One thing’s for sure – you're not going to mistake the i3 for any other BMW. Interestingly, the German brand has elected to first clothe its futuristic eDrive technology with equally futuristic bodywork, rather than simply install it into a familiar existing model
The front end introduces some subtle new vocabulary to BMW's well-established design language. The Munich maker’s familiar front kidney grille is present and correct, but it's purely cosmetic as the electrically powered i3 doesn't require any cooling air, even if you do choose one with the supplementary petrol engine out back. Positioned at the same height are sleek, characterful headlamps which sweep back well into the flanks and are framed by U-shaped LED light units. A neat black border connects the lower edge of the apron with the circular fog lights.
The aesthetics are a little more controversial, with the major signature feature being what BMW calls a ‘black belt’, this made up of darkly-coloured panels that extend from the bonnet over the roof into the rear with its starkly-styled vertical tailgate, a hatch be-jewelled with ‘floating’ LED light units.
Perhaps the most curious touch is the sudden dip in the pronounced ‘streamflow’ shoulderline just rearwards of the front doors. It’s apparently there to create a larger side window surface for the rear passenger compartment.
You’ll be glad that it’s there though, if you have to take a seat in the rear, which would otherwise be a bit of a black hole, and pretty impossible to get to were it not for the opposing coach-style doors that open to reveal the lack of the kind of central B-pillar that almost every other car in the world has to have. What we have is a car that's incredibly easy for anyone of any age to get in and out of. It is unfortunate though that the rear door can’t be used until the front one has been opened – which means that you’ll always have to act like a chauffeur when dropping the kids off on the school run.
Behind the wheel the roomy feeling you get comes with no caveats thanks to the low windowline, the tall airy cabin and, the optional glass roof panels. There’s no conventional instrument cluster – just two high-definition LCD screens, one behind the steering wheel and the other sited at the top of the centre console and big enough for rear seat folk to see. The gear selector and start/stop button share a stalk projecting from the steering column and you engage gears using the rotary controller, which moves forwards or backwards. The central design element is the arc of trim extending from the air vents on the left-hand side of the cockpit, which continues behind the steering column and reaches its full height above the usefully deep top-lidded glove box.
If, so far, you've been a bit sceptical about electric vehicles, then you need to try this one. Even if it doesn't change your viewpoint, you're going to have a heck of a lot of fun proving yourself right. It's distinctive, enjoyable and feels like a genuinely special ownership proposition. Like it or not, this is the future for small cars.
The i3 does, after all, mark a real milestone in EV development. With a carbon-fibre chassis, brilliant ConnectedDrive services, a bold and futuristic design ethos and genuine real world flexibility, the i3 is an electric vehicle that hasn't just moved the game on. It's rewritten the rules.