Highlighting the BMW i3’s Ultra Thin Seats


There are two aspects of the BMW i3 that have been the topic of much discussion since the vehicle first debuted.

Decent Amount of Rear Leg Room...Don't You Think?

Decent Amount of Rear Leg Room…Don’t You Think?

One is the i3’s incredibly narrow tires.

The other is the i3’s super slim seats.

Both are unusual and having already discusses the i3’s tires, it’s time to now move on to those seats.

BMW says that the i3’s seat create more rear leg room and reduce vehicle weight.

The idea is that the thin front seats allows rear-seat passengers to slide in and out of the i3 from either side of the vehicle, thus avoiding having to exit on the traffic side.

Seems logical to us, but there’s some concern that the seats, which are actually safety components, might not hold up well when the vehicle’s involved in a crash.

We suspect these concerns will be put to rest when the i3 undergoes US crash tests, but it’s worth pointing out that the thinness of the seats are something new in terms of a standard production vehicle.

Lastly, the i3 engineers decided that saving weight was more important than fitting the i3 with power seats.  So, if powered seats are a must for you, then the i3 needs to be knocked off your list of EVs under consideration to buy.  This may well be the only BMW out there today that lacks at least optional power seats.

Thin is in when it comes to the BMW i3.

Source: Automotive News

Categories: BMW


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11 Comments on "Highlighting the BMW i3’s Ultra Thin Seats"

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the front wheels too

Thin BMW seats say: High-end Econobox.

Less is more.
The design has a consistent theme.

Skinny non grippy tires, skinny non powered seats, skinny non-capacious boot, and of course skinny and low range petrol tank to power the lawnmower, sorry, range extender.

So BMW’s new design philosophy:
Carbon Reinforced Aluminium Plastic –

the new motto!

BMW taking notes from the airline industry… good on them.

At first I was concerned about the safety of these thin seats, but this NCAP crash test video is reassuring. Watch the seats closely, they hold in place well and offer a good balance of stiffness and flex. I’d be glad to be in them during a rear ender:

From one James M to another –

( Joke deleted – too obvious ) L 🙂 L! )

Phew! I need a good laugh this morn…!

I just hope BMW isn’t going to take it in the rear-ender after Americans wrap
their heads around the limitations of a $45,000 BEV that does pretty much
exactly what a $26,000 Nissan LEAF does. Go past $50,000 to get a
“limp-home-mode” 2 cyl. that makes it fall short of what a Chevy Volt does,
which basically is – gives you peace of mind that you won’t run out of charge
in some situations.

i3 is an odd duck and I believe sales in the USA will prove out as much.

Yep, just like the Leaf . . . Except way faster, way better handling, way more efficient, way better range prediction, way more infotainment, way safer and WAY better looking. Other than that they are virtually identical.

Not faster than LEAF, but a tad quicker, but as I’ve stated – go around stomping on the accelerator and your whole reason for buying an EV goes out the window – your range will be nothing. I’d guess you’d tromp on it to snap your guest rider’s heads back and then be on with your daily life of using the car —- as a transportation device – otherwise rack up the traffic tickets, insurance premiums and lose your license. I wouldn’t say i3 is “way more” efficient than a LEAF. How so? With similar ranges – wouldn’t you add cost to your list of efficiencies? How efficient is costing you twice as much for very humble improvements in range? Range prediction is not rocket science. LEAF owners tell me that once they’ve gotten familiar with their car, they know just about where they stand in all situations – remember, they’re both city cars, and thus, you’re not taking off for Tijuana, now, are you? Infotainment Is one of those areas dealers are charging one arm and one leg for – it’s profit margin in today’s world. When my smartphone, tablet and laptop’s abilities make i3’s ( or frankly ANY… Read more »

I have not seen skidpad results by a tester as of yet, just
some video of i3s careening around a track or two…. From
what I’ve seen and heard, those skinny tires and relatively
heavy weight ( compared to an ICE car of similar proportions )
don’t do it any good in the handling department.

you are an interesting fellow, everyone of your statements is pure conjecture and perception. I have driven both vehicles multiple times and I have put together analyses of facts that you can read to check my statements.

Way faster,way more efficient

Way better range prediction

Way safer, may more infotainment
The i3 has taken safety to a new level – collision prevention. There is nothing safer for being in an accident than preventing the accident in the first place – that is the future. Would you rather be in the most protective vehicle on the planet in an accident or not be in the accidnet at all?

WAY better looking goes without saying.

WIth all the genius placed into the i3, including the thin seats, what
gives me pause is how all that innovation didn’t really lead to more AER…

Makes me wonder what a LEAF with a plastic body and thin, lightweight
seats would do. Add the motorcycle tires and you would think the thing would
go 180 miles on a charge.

All said, I applaud some of these engineering decisions and believe light-
weight seats should be standard on every BEV. Seats in autos are
substantially heavier than most people guess – and a great place to save
some weight.

Perhaps carbon fiber aftermarket seats could be a great product for
that BEV owner who has a little extra coin to throw around. A new camera
store opened up in my town and they had a carbon fiber tripod on sale. It
was exactly the same size as my old-staid aluminum tripod, and when I
lifted it up, I was truly amazed. Light as a feather. CFRP may be a solution
for components other than body panels…