Posted by John O’Brien
Posts Tagged "i3"
While we’ve already had a brief encounter with BMW new ‘i’ cars 3 and 8, this is the first time we’ve had a chance to have a good poke around the electric B-sector i3 and i8 hybrid supercar.
We’ve just had a long chat with BMW Design Director, Adrian van Hooydonk during which he gave CDN a quick tour of the i3.
Posted by Owen Ready
BMW’s i cars may be less ‘new’ than the new mobility offerings from the likes of VW and Audi (they were shown at a special event a couple of months ago), but that doesn’t make them any less radical or interesting. The i8 loses little to the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept we saw here two years ago, but the i3, being shown in a motorshow setting for the first time, is possibly the more interesting of the two cars to explore.
The i3 is exceptionally wide, which combined with the extremely short overhangs gives a completely new set of proportions in the BMW design language context. The full depth window graphic has extremely different properties in the metal, because whereas in photos you read it as a reflective black shape, up close you can see what’s going on behind. BMW’s designers have played with this, so the door handle turns through the surface of the DLO and becomes the ‘armrest’ – a large, leather-covered surface which turns into the IP and the rear seats. This is just one of many really lovely details. Have a look at the photos from some others.
Overall we’re unconvinced that this design works as well as the bigger i8. The sense of layering and lightness – which BMW is keen to express, to show off the carbon-fiber technology – simply doesn’t come through in the same way as on the larger car. It ultimately gives the i3 a slightly heavy feel, which is a shame, given the work put in to lighten the car physically.
You’ll shortly be able to see our video walk around of the car with BMW Group Design Director, Adrian van Hooydonk, too. Stay tuned.
Posted by Joe Simpson