What is the "competition" up to? I3 & i8

What is the "competition" up to? I3 & i8

Tomorrow's Sunday NY Times Auto section has 3 articles on the i3 and i8 which are interesting. One should give some credit to BMW for thinking about and entering in some way the EV market, but.....these are hybrids! Of limited utility! And......

The i3 is basically an ugly station car, which can use a 2 cylinder motor scooter engine to extend range from 81 to 150 miles. I wonder if the scooter engine uses a gas+oil mixture?

The i8 is a $140,000 hybrid, basically a good looking two seater that goes 0-60 in 9 seconds in Econnomy mode. There is nothing in this car that would make me shell out that kind of money. And the author insults Tesla as being "battery bloated." What a joke.

Happy reading. Yay Tesla.
BMW’s fast and fuel-efficient i8 is a hybrid sports car that draws a crowd. It also costs $136,650.
The BMW 13 offers impressive fuel economy and reduced emissions, but just how much depends on how you drive it.
The BMW i3’s quirky, design-forward shape, stubby proportions and save-the-world powertrain put it a world apart from any previous BMW.

Chunky Jr. | 18 ottobre 2014

Where I live in Silicon Valley there are Teslas everywhere. I have seen one i8 and about a half dozen i3, including a neighbor who got one recently. The i8 certainly turns heads, while the i3 looks OK - I'd certainly prefer that over a Prius.

Dramsey | 18 ottobre 2014

The i3 is a good car for people who don't have the money (or space) for a Mod S and want something a step up from a Nissan Leaf. The optional gas engine will tempt people who aren't quite brave enough to go full EV...and there are a lot of those.

The i8 is a strikingly beautiful car. Not as practical as a Mod S? Shock! Guess what: Lambos and Ferraris aren't as practical as Impalas. Who cares? It gets a very sophisticated hybrid out in the public eye from a company that has a rep for performance and quality.

If you're really serious about EVs and phasing out gasoline cars, you should applaud the introduction of cars like these from other manufacturers, rather than sneering at them and making laundry lists of reasons they're not as good as the Mod S.

genedr @ny-us | 18 ottobre 2014

@dramsey. Agree. Read my second sentence in the post.
The Times' articles made these out to be the second coming of EV technology.

PaceyWhitter | 18 ottobre 2014

Yeah, the battery bloat comment was weird and highlights the anti Tesla mindset of the author. Sure the Tesla is bigger and heavier than the i8, it is a large sedan as compared with a two seater.

The i8 is a gorgeous car though. | 18 ottobre 2014

The i8 is a gorgeous car though.

The all-black is passable. All other tri-color combinations are childish and scream "hey look at my future-car that runs on electricity! (Sometimes!)"

carlk | 18 ottobre 2014

I do applaud BMW's effort on the EV front but still it has the unmistaken appearance of being pushed to do that and it's not a high priority which is what you would expect for all lagacy companies. The way the i3 and i8 were designed is that they will not affect the sales of any existing BMW products. The i3 being small, ugly and slow, compares to 3/4 series cars, and i8 being expensive, compares to all BMW models is just to insure the cannibalism will not happen. Should BMW to offer a MS like car, even if they could, they would just kiss good-bye to all 6,7 and M sales.

AmpedRealtor | 18 ottobre 2014

I think the VW e-Golf is going to take sales away from the i3.

FelixMendeldog | 18 ottobre 2014

The i3 is astoundingly ugly—nearly as ugly as a Pontiac Aztec. Even the LEAF—which is *hideous*—is better looking. The i8 is prodigiously expensive and complex for what you get. The New York Times is a shamelessly biased piece of sensationalist click-bait trash. I honestly don’t know why anyone would consider what they do journalism. This goes so much farther than Tesla.

@ carlk: “Should BMW to offer a MS like car, even if they could, they would just kiss good-bye to all 6,7 and M sales.” Too true, but they should consider lessons like this: when Apple was developing the iPhone, management was concerned that if they put music player software on iPhone, it would cannibalize iPod (it did) but as the late great Steven Paul Jobs replied, if they didn’t, someone else would, obviously.

Nissan has done ok so far in that price range; BWM’s efforts to compete in the EV market at the prices they are asking are half-hearted (i3) and ridiculous (i8) at best. If the i3 and the LEAF don’t improve dramatically, Volkswagen’s eGolf will soon burry them. i8 doesn’t have a prayer against Model S. Sure, BMW will sell a few hundred of them, but mostly anyone with that kind of money will buy a P85D over an i8—it’s a no brainer. Of course, everyone is screwed when Tesla drops Model III.

So what is the competition up to? Losing. Badly.

glebham | 18 ottobre 2014

I don't get the i8 at all. Sure, its very good looking, but 20 miles on electric. People wont even bother charging it for that.
Then when the battery is flat - it reduces power output, so i'm led to believe. And yeah, now its slower than the P85D.
I have driven the i3 and that actually makes a lot more sense. It's very good technically and actually very quick to 50mph. It does a good 80 miles on electric and has an emergency backup.
I almost ordered one, but wow is it an ugly SOB!

genedr @ny-us | 18 ottobre 2014

the "hood" on the i8 can only be opened by a BMW technician. Apparently it requires two people to raise and lower, and if not done perfectly the entire hood gets bent.

And we thought the frunk crease was bad!!