Video: BMW i3 Featured in TRANSLOGIC

DEC 17 2013 BY MARK KANE 6

BMW i3 eDrive

BMW i3 eDrive

Nearly everything there is to know of the BMW i3 has probably already been mentioned by us, but it’s always a pleasure to watch some high-quality reviews from TRANSLOGIC.

So, here its is. The BMW i3 featured in TRANSLOGIC at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show:

Categories: BMW


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6 Comments on "Video: BMW i3 Featured in TRANSLOGIC"

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I still don’t understand how it can have full performance in Rex mode if the engine doesn’t come on until 6% of the battery is left….


Perhaps I can help answer this. While I don’t have any specifics, I can offer up some general information, which pertains to the overall design. The REx is limited to a maximum of about 25 kW of output power. Since this would not result in a satisfying driving experience, it has been long assumed that the REx will be augmented with battery power for the use cases you mentioned above. Unfortunately, if the battery reserve is limited to 6%, this only translates to about 0.6 kWh of usable capacity. That’s enough to climb 500 feet, drive about 3 minutes at the top speed of 95 mph instead of 75 mph, which is what the REx can sustain indefinitely on flat terrain, or accelerate normally a few times. If the REx can maintain this SOC level reliably and continuously, the small energy reserve in the battery will be available to complement the REx and provide a normal driving experience.

Thanks George. So why would BMW be discouraging using it to drive 300 miles etc… minus the looks, its like a Volt on steroids in terms of initial range?


I was curious and inquired about the “not for daily use” statement at a private event, and without wanting to put words into someone’s mouth, let’s just say that I found the answer very satisfactory. It can most certainly be driven 300 miles or more, if needed, but it may not be as convenient over long distances as the Volt, for example. I believe what BMW representatives correctly point out is the fact that the REx was not designed with this objective in mind. The California Air Resources Board came up with a set of rules and restrictions for the new BEVx category to encourage driving electric, and to discourage driving on gas. So in essence, that’s what BMW is doing as well, and they correctly point out the system’s limitations. The only remaining question for me is the performance of the REx in hilly terrain, since the battery needs to be depleted to 5% first, and there is not much energy left to augment the REx at that point. It would be great if BMW found a few capable hands to test drive the US version, and share the driving impressions with the rest of us. I… Read more »

The more I hear/read about the i3, the more it looks like a winner to me, even for the styling. I like the idea of the smallest engine possible to maintain an average SOC sufficient enough to reach destination, even if that means softening up performance slightly (on those rare occasions when it’s used). IMO, for people who don’t have long range needs, and if 95%+ of miles are electric, then efficiency becomes secondary and the only thing that really matters is comfort, noise in particular. That said, I wonder if they could design a mode where the optimal engine use would be determined based on trip information, such as destination and topographical data, the idea being to maximize battery usage, and minimize fuel consumption (or noise, if that is an issue).

Since there aren’t that many REx test drive reports, I thought I would cross-post this one from the My BMW i3 (MI3?) forum. Well worth reading if you were interested in the REx.