A ride in BMW’s cars of the future

It's not slow, either. It uses the same motor as the i8's front motor, but rated up to 168bhp, driving a weight of just 1250kg. That means 0-100 in 7.9 sec. Riding in it, the over-riding impression is of quiet authoritative surge.

The carbonfibre is key to these cars. To drive a heavy steel body needs a lot of battery. And battery itself is heavy, so to an extent the extra battery is self-cancelling and yet its punishingly expensive. The i3 has a relatively small battery and yet its range – 225 kilometers in the official cycle, "130 to 160 kilometers" real-world – is about 30 percent more than a Nissan Leaf's. By developing revolutionary new processes and using cheap hydro electricity for the process, BMW has greatly reduced the cost of carbonfibre, and found ways to build it quickly.