It may not go on sale until November, but that hasn’t stopped BMW’s i3 from scooping its first award after topping the Electric and Hybrid Car category in The Sunday Times Top 100 Car list.
“BMW has bided its time while others took their first tentative steps into the electric car market. The brilliance of the i3 comes not in revolutionary battery technology for there is none, but by being a car someone might consider buying for reasons other than it’s electric,” commented The Sunday Times Driving team.
Thanks to a carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell which is attached to an aluminium Drive module, the i3 not only enjoys a 1,195 kg kerb weight, but the structural rigidity allowed this four-door citycar to be designed without the need for b-pillars. A 22 kWh lithium-ion battery feeds the electric motor which sends 125 kW (168 hp) and 250 Nm of torque to the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission. On the road 60 km/h (37 mph) appears in 3.7 seconds and 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.2 seconds, with top speed limited to 93 mph (150 km/h).
When specified with the range-extending 25 kW (34 hp) 650 cc two-cylinder petrol engine the i3 can cover 300 kilometres (180 miles) – up from a maximum of 160 kilometres (99 miles) on electricity alone.