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    • BMW pushes the 'i' brand hard at the 2013 LA Auto Show

      It is almost as if the rest of the BMW's in the lineup did not even need to show up. The main focus for BMW was the 'i' brand which was center stage. BMW showed up with a production version of the i8 coupe and the car definitely generated huge buzz. This was the most difficult car to photograph and even get near due to the huge crowd constantly around it second only to the Porsche 918 Spyder. BMW definitely deserves credit for generating more buzz in their hall than any other manufacturer.

      The i3 was also on display and BMW rented out the parking lot across from the LA Convention Center bringing in a small fleet of i3's for test drives. I went to test drive the car only to be told they were having a private event and only offering test drives for those invited to the event. Odd, considering I scheduled my test drive in advance and was wearing my press credentials but so be it. I did not give up that easily and entered the private event and started taking photos and nobody said a thing.

      I also waited in line for a test drive with the people attending the private event but was not able to get away with sneaking in. Oh well, I jumped in an i3 anyway and found it to be surprisingly comfortable. The interior takes a very minimalist design reminiscent of Apple in some ways but it certainly works. Even the rear leg space was decent for what really is a very compact car. Trunk space on the other hand suffers but the i3 is comfortable at least up front.

      The cars stood out on the streets of LA and gathered crowds. They truly look like nothing else on the road. That said, it is clear why the i3's were scheduled for tests in downtown LA. This is a city car designed for tight city streets. Test driving the cars in downtown rush hour traffic really proves nothing about the driving experience. Maybe that was the whole point? A comfy car to get you around big cities. Not a car that is the Ultimate Driving Machine or why you would pick tightly packed downtown LA streets for a test drive with no real way to accelerate or test braking and handling? This isn't a vehicle for a tight mountain road to have fun in.

      BMW 'i' is here to stay. Whether the experiment will work out is anybody's guess but they definitely are hitting it off well with the California eco-hippie community. Whether that trendy community is enough to sustain sales and actually make the 'i' project possible is something BMW themselves probably does not even know.
























































      This article was originally published in forum thread: BMW pushes the 'i' brand hard at the 2013 LA Auto Show started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 12 Comments
      1. leo985i's Avatar
        leo985i -
        Disgusting looking car that i3.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by leo985i Click here to enlarge
        Disgusting looking car that i3.
        Not really man. It's a good design. You have to see it in person it really pops.
      1. leo985i's Avatar
        leo985i -
        WHAT!!! I'm surprised you are saying that! The car makes me want to throw up. Looks like a mini van. :puke:
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        It's supposed to be a city car. It does sort of have a mini-van look. But it's a hot and fresh design. I'm not a fan of the car itself but it's not because of the design language.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        I saw one at the dealer yesterday.
        The design takes some getting used to but it looks ok.
        with it's 3 color interior the inside looks a bit cosy but the car pulls it off.
        This car is interesting, if only because it is made out of CF.
        That said, I would not have one for commuting unless it was made at least 70% cheaper.
      1. whoosh's Avatar
        whoosh -
        I get the whole city car and everything, but the side view of it is just hideous in pictures.
      1. Torgus's Avatar
        Torgus -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Not really man. It's a good design. You have to see it in person it really pops.
        no, it's $#@!ing ugly.

        what a $#@!ty parking lot to use.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Torgus Click here to enlarge
        no, it's $#@!ing ugly.

        what a $#@!ty parking lot to use.
        What parking lot were they supposed to use?
      1. onisyndicate's Avatar
        onisyndicate -
        I love that it has suicide doors. They're so much more convenient for loading and unloading stuff. Whats the range and charge times though? If you could get 80-110 miles around a charge and have a charge time of less than 3 hours on 220 and less than 7 on 110 that would be phenomenal! Only problem is there wont be any charging stations like there are in Cali in JoCo KS for a very long time!
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by onisyndicate Click here to enlarge
        I love that it has suicide doors. They're so much more convenient for loading and unloading stuff. Whats the range and charge times though? If you could get 80-110 miles around a charge and have a charge time of less than 3 hours on 220 and less than 7 on 110 that would be phenomenal! Only problem is there wont be any charging stations like there are in Cali in JoCo KS for a very long time!
        Just look at the specs on the photographed data panel...
      1. marcvtec's Avatar
        marcvtec -
        Does the battery charge at all from the gas engine?
        or brakes? Or anything lol
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by marcvtec Click here to enlarge
        Does the battery charge at all from the gas engine?
        or brakes? Or anything lol
        The gas engine provides extra range, yes.

        Regarding charging from the brakes, I don't know.