BMW i3 review – the city car perfected? - Performance and 0-60 time

The BMW i3 is a genuinely impressive take on the electric city car.

Evo rating

Performance and 0-60mph time

BMW has invested a fortune not only in the electrical components for its i cars, but also in a brand new factory in which to produce their carbon fibre bodies. A decision was made early on in the whole project to do this so weight could be kept down, preserving battery charge and extending the range. Hence the BMW i3 weighs just 1320kg in standard form.

So with maximum torque available from a standstill it should be no surprise that it puts in a decent 0-62mph time - at 7.3 seconds. Floor the throttle at rest and a little chirrup from the rear tyres (even in the dry) reveals that acceleration can be a little traction limited so it's even more impressive on the move, where the quiet motor just adds speed in a relentless surge.

For example, it accelerates from 50mph to 74.5mph (120km/h) in just 4.9 seconds - only 0.6 seconds slower than the DCT-equipped BMW M4. Top speed is limited to 93mph 'for efficiency reasons' and the i3 can easily keep up with fast motorway traffic such is the seamless acceleration always on tap.

The range extender engine adds 120kg to the i3 and the rear wheels are a little wider, so straight line performance is dulled a tad. It hits 62mph from rest in a claimed 8.1 seconds, which still feels brisk for a city-bound electric car. Top speed is the same, and when the little two-cylinder range-extending engine is running there's a little more noise, but it's still quieter than most conventional cars.

Most Popular

Best car tyres 2023: evo performance tyre test
Best car tyres 2023
Features

Best car tyres 2023: evo performance tyre test

Which tyre should you choose for your performance car? This year’s evo tyre test puts eight strong contenders through their paces to find the very bes…
1 Dec 2023
The BMW M3 is going electric in its next generation
BMW M3 teaser
News

The BMW M3 is going electric in its next generation

The next M3 supersaloon is receiving a pure-electric powertrain, but it’s not all bad news…
30 Nov 2023
Used car deals of the week
Main used car deals
Advice

Used car deals of the week

In this week's used car deals, we've sourced everything from a BMW M3 to a Maserati MC20
30 Nov 2023