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      07-11-2019, 10:11 AM   #16
The HACK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
The other thing that doomed it was the liberal use of CFRP which, while a nice idea to try to keep weight in check, makes the vehicle expensive to produce. And more damningly, it means the entire architecture itself is a dead-end in a market where competitors can produce similar vehicles at a lower cost on platforms that employ less exotic materials.
While I totally agree as to why the i3 was a flop, I thought their use of CFRP on the chassis was a brilliant move towards altering the landscape and leading the industry in the right direction.

The i3 weighed in at less than 3,000 lbs. Out of all the EVs available on the market, even today, that would be considered one of the LIGHTEST EVs. All 3 of Tesla's models (S, 3, X, and soon to be Y) all weight in excess of 4,00 lbs when all said and done, and while the power and torque mask the incredible mass it has to move, no amount of power and torque can defy the laws of physics.

I thought dynamically the i3 was actually quite engaging to drive. Not to the level of what a regular 3 series sedan could be, as it sits high AND has skinny tires. But don't exceed the level of grip, and you can have some fun in most situations because 1) it WAS the lightest BMW in production. By a country mile and 2) it has incredibly low center of gravity.

I mean, hindsight is 20/20 and all, and I can sit here and say that they (BMW) f**ked the pooch with the i3. It had so much potential. Built it to look like an X1 or more like a 3 series, give it some decent tires and moderate width*, and while it may not sell like hot cakes (and no EV would under today's climate except for Tesla), it would at least give them an opportunity to push the boundaries and expand marketshare in the EV field as they continue to increase range to stem the flow of Tesla-ratis.

* So here's another area where BMW's lack of vision in this industry and market failed. We traded in the i3 for a Chevy Bolt EV. Before that, I had a Fiat 500e (yes I'm glutton for punishment**) I never understood why BMW chose to hamper the i3's handling by equipping it with ultra thin, 155mm wide tires. The arches and suspension can easily handle 225 tires. EASILY. And the tiny battery pack is capable of delivering 80 miles per charge, equivalent to the Fiat 500e. going wider to a 225 isn't going to really impact that range significantly, as I "upgraded" the Fiat's tires to performance summers that are 10mm wider than stock, and my range decreased by 5 miles per full charge.

Even the Bolt EV, with its superior 250mile range, comes with 215 wide tires. While it's handling characteristic isn't something to write home about, had the i3 been shod with the 215 wide touring tires, I'll bet it would be 10X more fun to drive. The Bolt is hampered by its FWD platform, while there's NO EXCUSE for BMW to not to equip a decent set of tires on the i3.

** You might ask, why The HACK, WHY? Fiat 500e? i3? CHEVY F**KING BOLT? "I'm disappointed, and nothing you say on these them forums has any weight because YOU drive soulless cars."

Yeah. I do. Although I have to say, the Fiat 500e was full of soul and was fun to drive. The only problem I had with it was the FCA ownership experience and how much time it spent in the dealership. But for my first EV experience, it was an absolute HOOT. That thing would dart in and out of traffic like an angry chihuahua. Full of energy, lack bite. I actually loved it besides the fact that it makes no noise besides tire noise, and the fact that, well, FCA. It was enough to swear me off of any Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, and Alfa products for live no matter how good the Hellcat is or how awesome the Giulia Quad drives. I could never bring myself to ever have to deal with a FCA dealership ever again. But that's another story all together.

What makes me want to get a Bolt EV, or any of the slew of soul-less EV cars on the market (contemplated getting a used Tesla S to replace the 335D, and a Kona EV)? Balance. I've got my 2 cars in the garage on the EXTREME end of fun (BMW Z4 M Coupe and Chevrolet C7 Corvette Grand Sport), I'm not afraid to admit that having a couple of pure commuter car that just goes from A to B with ease and aplomb but none of the VROOM VROOM fun serves a purpose in life. You can't just have fun all the time.

Plus the missus complains enough about the "psychotic" driving I do.

Lastly, I think Tesla Model 3 sales are off the charts only because there are NO OTHER ALTERNATIVES. Want a high range EV with moderately tolerable style and decent performance, and a reasonable price range? It's the ONLY game in town. It truly is. And the demand is there, and I suspect cars like the e-Tron and iPace should gain traction if they managed to get the execution right. But I know plenty of Tesla EV owners that would gladly have bought something else, like a decent BMW EV, had one been offered in the same range and ballpark as a Tesla S/3/X or the upcoming Y.
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