There’ a new crop of nerds. Not the old-style outcasts of high school, but instead, the new age definition where brains are worn as a badge of honor. And this is their car.
The BMW i3 is intelligence for the road by offering an electric vehicle that’s engineered to maximize every last kilowatt. And it does so while boldly standing out from the crowd — loudly and proudly proclaiming its nerd-mobile status.
Its short stubby nose and blocky build give the i3 a memorable silhouette. BMW’s hallmark twin-kidney grille helps create an angry face, but the standard tri-tone color options make the whole package feel a bit livelier. So the total impression is like an electric bulldog on wheels (bet you’ll never find that kind of comparison on any other car.)
The front doors are large enough to look like a coupe, but there’s a second set of rear-hinged ones for better access to the back seats. Other cars of the last decade like the Honda Element and Mazda RX-8 have done this, too, but the i3 seems to open larger and wider, which makes it particularly impressive.
The extra exposure comes from its revolutionary construction. The frame is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. It’s a material that’s both extremely lightweight and exceptionally strong. BMW left it unpainted in the door jams so the cool nerds can marvel at the metallic-like weave that isn’t found in many production vehicles.
Once inside, this electric car reminds that it’s one with nature. The seats are made from a broad thread that looks like woven on a country loom. The optional leather was tanned with olive leaf extract. The dash and door panels have a fibrous appearance that clearly came from recycled plastics. And completing the natural atmosphere is the optional open-pore Eucalyptus Wood flowing over the glovebox and under the infotainment screen. BMW says it’s one of the most sustainable lumbers available, but really, we just like how it gives the i3 a unique and premium atmosphere.
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