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BMW’s new electric car creates a buzz at PalmerSport

Thursday, October 02 2014

The BMW i3 compact car has been making heads turn and tongues wag at PalmerSport even though it's a showroom standard production model surrounded by exotic sports and racing cars. PalmerSport guests have been stepping out of BMW's bold newcomer with a first-hand understanding of why the Sunday Times acclaimed it "the electric car for which the world has been waiting."

In its first month of availability at PalmerSport's Bedford Autodrome, more than 400 people have already taken the opportunity to drive BMW's ultra-lightweight two-door hatchback. Every participant at PalmerSport is given the option of sampling the i3 on a 2.2-mile test route while waiting for their turn at lapping one of the venue's four circuits in the extreme Ariel Atom sports car.

The BMW i3 achieves its ultra-light weight by adopting an aluminium chassis and carbon passenger compartment. Its high-torque electric motor, working with a lithium-ion high-LMP_1096_resizevoltage battery and intelligent energy management system, responds eagerly to throttle
commands, enabling the car to sprint in near-silence from 0-60mph in 7.2 seconds. Driving enjoyment is further enhanced by the 168hp car's rear-wheel-drive layout and low centre of gravity.     

The BMW i3 is available as a pure battery electric car, with a range of up to 100 miles between charges, and with an optional Range Extender (REx). When battery capacity drops below 20 per cent, the REx model's small two-cylinder combustion engine smoothly and quietly fires up to drive a generator which charges the high-voltage battery, almost doubling the car's range.

PalmerSport's founder, former F1 racer Jonathan Palmer, commented: "The availability of the BMW i3 at PalmerSport, for our guests to test drive if they'd like, is proving incredibly popular as a taster of BMW's trendsetting technologies."