A ride in BMW’s cars of the future
Paul Horrell heads to the Arctic with the BMW i8 and i3. Two of the cleverest cars… in the world
Posted: 24 Feb 2013
Because you sit so high, you think it's going to feel like a crossover or MPV, all nautical and rock'n'roll. But it doesn't. There's little roll or pitch and it's clearly very agile. If it slides under power, it slides at the back.
The reason is that all the heavy bits are right down near the ground. In an x-ray, the mechanical bits of the i3 look like a skateboard: there's a flat aluminium frame that cradles everything. At the back is the electric motor and high-voltage electronics, then the rear suspension (it's rear-drive), then under the people is the square sandwich-shaped battery, then the front suspension and a radiator to cool the electronics. Then the people sit in a separate module bolted to the top, a solid carbonfibre frame.