Once upon a time, most cars on the road were rear-wheel drive. These days, not so much, but BMW still believes in turning the back wheels. Video of upcoming i3 MegaCity shows the electric car drifting that powdah.
BMW is spinning off a new brand of electric, fuel efficient vehicles dubbed the “i” brand. The i3 MegaCity will be a city electric car with an optional range extender and an all-electric range of around 125 miles. It will joined by the i8, better known as Vision EfficientDynamics superclean supercar. A pair of electric motors will send 150 horsepower to the electric wheels, which is good for a top speed of 90 mph.
This video follows pictures of the i8 VED testing in the snow, and BMW is obviously putting in a lot of cold weather testing as these pictures and video came from the cold reaches of Sweden. The electric i3 can really scoot, and I can’t imagine those engineers weren’t enjoying themselves at least a little bit. While it is hard to get a good feel for the looks of the i3 under all that camouflage, my first thought is that it stands a bit tall and a lot less sporty than the concept sketches promised. But for me, rear-wheel drive makes any car instantly more desirable, and this is just a test mule. If Toyota makes the C Concept into a sporty, rear-drive hybrid, hell they might have a new customer right here. Not likely, but just saying.
The subtle shift from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive symbolizes how we, as Americans have shifted from being dare devils and risk takers to being, well, boring. Yes, front-wheel drive has a lot of advantages, but today’s snow tire technology can make all the difference. And I think concepts like the Nissan ESFLOW and production cars like the i3, that couple electric motors with rear-wheel drive, will make converting EV doubters into believers a helluva lot easier. Give us torque to the rear tires!
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.