BMW i3 Hits The Autobahn For Some High Speed Driving


Chase Car Tracks Speed Of BMW i3 On German Autobahn

Chase Car Tracks Speed Of BMW i3 On German Autobahn


The title pretty much says it all.

BMW’s i3, which is scheduled to be released in Europe on November 16th, and in the United States by the end of the year, hit the open road (specifically the Autobahn) this week and gave us our first look at the vehicle at high speed.

How fast was it going? At least 153 km/hr at one point (95 mph).

We Are Not BIg Fans Of The i3's Wheels...But Sacrifices Must Be Made

We Are Not BIg Fans Of The i3’s Wheels…But Sacrifices Must Be Made

The BMW i3 has an all electric range of a little more than 90 miles and has an extended range option that adds a small 2 cylinder engine, bringing the total range up to about 200 miles.

What one?  Order books on the i3 are set to open sometime in July.


Thanks to contributor Tom M for the tip, via the BMW i3 fan group on FB and Car Acceleration TV

Category: BMW

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6 responses to "BMW i3 Hits The Autobahn For Some High Speed Driving"
  1. David Murray says:

    Hmm.. for some reason it doesn’t look like anyone is going very fast.

  2. Robster1979 says:

    It’s a bit of a myth that on all German highways people drive 180 kp/h Most stretches are limited to 120 or 130 kp/h. Some stretches are unlimited, there most people drive 130 except for the left laners. However, Americans always seem to think that they use the autobahn on fighterjet speeds:-)

    1. Transportation for the future says:

      According to the german automobile club ADAC, 30.4% of german highway kilometers have permanent speed limits, and 4.1% for some periods of time using variable-message signs (aka matrix signs in the UK). Also according to the Bundesanstalt für Strassenwesen (The Federal Highway Research Institute, BASt) 34.5% of the highway kilometers are speed-limited for some or all of the time.

      Conclusion: the remaining approx. 65.5% of the highway miles, you’re free to go as fast you want.

      Just last week, the public debate re-emerged on wheather to introduce a speed limit for all kilometers of Autobahn and expel the speed addicts to the Nurburgring and other racetracks for their love of high velocity, for safety and climate protection reasons. It was a non-starter, though Germany’s the only industrialized country still clinging to the idea of having no speed limit.

      Though comparatively a small percentage of the population, there still are these car-lovers who wanna drive their Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW or Porsche to the limits. The majority of the politicians is not willing to lose their votes yet, though polls show that a slight majority of the general population would favor a general speed limit. It is noteworthy that the speed in those fast cars is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mi/h) by the manufacturer for safety reasons, so even if the car is technically able to drive faster, one won’t be able to, unless one tunes the vehicle to have the electronic limit taken out. Still, even at 250 km/h, to have a car that fast approach you from behind when being on the left lane say, with an electric car driving 130 km/h (80 mi/h) passing by a truck that’s in the right lane (general speed limit 80 km/h so 50 mi/h for trucks) – it is not for everyone. To some, it is scary (including some US visitors, hence the fighterjet speed impressions).

      I don’t know if there’s a speed limit or not on this stretch of Autobahn 9 just east of Leipzig in eastern Germany (location of BMW’s i3 factory), that the clip above was shot at. Still when the road is as full as seen in the video, it seems good that nobody is unreasonable enough to go faster than 153 km/h (95 mp/h); the higher speeds will be more commonly seen a little further out from the cities, where the highway’s less crowded, or at night time.

      Talking about the transportation of the future: the profitable high-speed rail system in Germany reaches speeds of 300 km/h (186mi/h), and those are electric vehicles, too. 🙂 Can be powered with renewable energy, just as rapid transit inside cities can be. And it’s encouraging to see how these trends are global: Leipzig is just building its downtown rail city tunnel, supposed to be finished by the end of the year. Los Angeles for example is building its downtown city rail tunnel (the regional connector, supposed to be finished by 2019), and its own 300 km/h+ (186 mi/h+) rail in the form of California High-Speed Rail. Environmentally friendly, sustainable solutions so all the electric cars of the future won’t only stand still in gridlock on jammed freeways every day (like Elon Musk currently does on I-405)…

      1. Suprise Cat says:

        You can be happy when traffic is flowing with 100 km/h during rush hour at most Autobahn.

  3. kdawg says:

    The Autobahn seems very congested.

    Why does the i3 now remind me of the iMiev? Is Miev German for 3?

    1. Transportation for the future says:

      About the congested highway, see above. 🙂
      BTW, correction, it was just west of Leipzig, not east.
      Congestion is common in most cities around the world, that is why more public transportation and different zoning, denser and more mixed-use development seem so desirable to many when it comes to cities.

      3 in German is “drei”, not Miev. 😉

      Seriously. The narrow tires may be what could lead to any association, still the other dimensions seem to be so different.

      BMW i3: 3,845mm (length), 2,011mm (width) and 1,537mm (height).

      iMiev: 3,475mm, 1,475mm, 1,610mm.

      Modified iMiev for US: 3,680mm, 1,585mm, 1,615mm.

      That means, the i3 would be 6 inches longer, 16 inches wider and 3 inches less tall even when compared with the larger US version of the iMiev.