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      07-11-2019, 10:33 AM   #17

Drives: No BMW for now
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Canton, MI

iTrader: (1)

Sure, it has technical merit in spades - no argument there.

But in the matter of total corporate value, it fails on the basis of long term flexibility, scalability, and financial sustainability. The fact of the matter is that this could have been BMW's MEB, and then they could be ahead of the game with a range of EV's that compete with the ones that people today want - everything from your Bolt to a Model 3. And, with a little better foresight in the development of the vehicle architecture, they'd have been able to add larger batteries, multiple motors, more powerful motors, etc. Instead, they put the money into the wrong place - the materials. The CFRP certainly made the thing lighter, but then even if you nix that in favor of aluminum or other light-weighting measures, its still going to have a very reasonable weight compared to other products.

Not only that, but it soaked up funds and getting burned tends to leave decision makers gun-shy. It was a breakthrough vehicle program at the time, but it was nevertheless a nasty speed bump, and the ramifications are still taking their tole. Yes, this is all "hindsight 20/20" stuff, but it is nevertheless part of the reason why things are the way they are today with the company somewhat scrambling to get a foothold in order to compete in coming decade.

Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
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.