BMW i3: The company’s first electric car

Top Gear:

If the i3′s range fits your life, here’s what you get. A car, a gadget, a suite of furniture, a greener option, a talking point. And a slower heart-rate.



  • Jack

    Thinking of replacing the dog sled, Jim?

  • tylernol

    Top Gear is great for entertainment, but I would not trust their reviews — they adore all things BMW, and also staged a Tesla running out of batteries.

    • Mother Hydra

      they were pretty upfront on the Tesla joke. Musk got all butthurt over it but it was meant to be entertainment and not serious journalism.

      • tylernol

        I will have to rewatch that episode, if I recall correctly, they never said “just kidding about the battery running out”.

        • Mother Hydra

          Ditto, I took away the impression that they were joking but I want to re-watch anyway because Top Gear!

    • Stephen Middlehurst

      They certainly don’t adore all things BMW. Just off the top of my head they savaged the 1 series, made frequent references to not liking the designs of most of the Bangel-era cars, did a full report on the X3 being terrible off-road, complained bitterly about the earlier versions of iDrive and have, if I remember rightly, shown a dog turd with a BMW badge on it to illustrate the point that some people will buy anything BMW put out. They DO usually love the faster stuff but that’s to be expected as it’s the best in class.

      As for the Tesla nonsense that’s a company that needs to reign itself in a bit. They sued for libel in the UK and… lost despite having a very expensive legal company specializing in libel cases on board. I’d have to watch the video back again but fairly sure the dialogue clearly says ” we worked out that on our track it would run out after just 55 miles”. Absolutely true and not related to road mileage whatsoever. The New York Times thing was no better either.

      Oh, and you’re really talking about Top Gear TV. The magazine writers have a very different take on things and are consistently producing very high quality work. While you should never trust any review without trying a product for yourself I’ve found them to be consistently accurate with their verdicts.

    • http://evq.tumblr.com Eric

      This is TopGear.com, they, along with Top Gear magazine are a bit more serious than the show.

  • bellhaven

    Gawd it’s ugly. And BMW has made such beautiful cars before

  • Mother Hydra

    Yes, but does this car have any technology to counteract the Asshole quotient that is so applicable to all BMW drivers? Bet this thing doesn’t have turn signals either.

  • http://300stations.com/ Mark D Wolinski

    I’m pretty convinced that auto makers are making electric vehicles ugly to enough people to make sure sales are low enough to justify, eventually, that nobody wants electric vehicles.

    • Mother Hydra

      It isn’t just conspiracy, this is actually a stated goal. I remember reading a ridiculous article in the mid 90′s about GM’s electric car. They made it fugly to push people towards more traditional, gas-guzzling solutions.

      • http://300stations.com/ Mark D Wolinski

        True, I think the movie Who Killed The Electric Car? covers that as well.

        • Mother Hydra

          Yes, I had forgotten about that!

      • tylernol

        Tesla has no legacy gas engine infrastructure to support.

        Tesla’s “halo” high cost -> low cost plan: 1) roadster $$$$ 2) Model S $$$ 3) Model X $$$ 4) Model ? (T? commuter car in the $30K range) $$

        • Mother Hydra

          I really want one of these rides but it doesn’t make economic sense just yet. The best outcome is the auto industry incumbents are utterly obliterated by Tesla. They are the Model T to the auto industry’s horse buggy. Car technology traditionally moved at a glacial pace so I’m curious to see what influence Tesla’s cabin has on the rest of the industry.

    • tylernol

      Tesla Model S is one of the most beautiful cars on the road and it drives great, hence the large numbers i see in Silicon Valley, Austin, and in Oslo, Norway(I just came back from a trip there and they were all over the place). As for BMW,etc, they still dont quite “get it” but Tesla’s success is starting to make them very nervous.

  • Moeskido

    Looks like a car. Hope it sells well enough for them to expand the line.

  • http://evq.tumblr.com Eric

    The most brilliant part is that within the lease, you have the option to swap it for another car if you need more range: “For your occasional long journeys, BMW will swap your i3 for something else, a 320d maybe, for a week or however long you need. Or a Z4 for a sunny weekend. An X5 for a skiing trip.”