BMW Malaysia made a huge leap forward for electric cars in Malaysia with the introduction of the first ever Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or pure electric vehicle for the Malaysian market.
This is a huge thing for Malaysians because after years of waiting and over 120,000 units of the i3 delivered worldwide, the highly acclaimed i3 is finally here.
The i3S is unique not because it is powered by batteries alone (shown below) with no internal combustion engine, but also because 80% of the car is built with recycled and renewable resources. It produces zero emission, which means your drive near or far will have zero effects on the environment.
Being fully electric, the i3S is capable of a 260km range on full charge in everyday use. Power consumption is rated at 14.3kWh for every 100km.
But the i3S is not about environmental friendliness alone, it is also capable of some impressive performance, though not in the supercar sense.
The i3S and its synchronous electric motor with a single-speed automatic transmission produces 184hp and 270Nm of torque. This is good for a 6.9 second acceleration to 100km/h, and on to a top speed of 160km/h. Impressive figures for a small car designed for comfort and eco-friendliness.
BMW says that the i3S also has the handling to match its performance. The car boasts sports suspension with custom-made springs, dampers and anti-roll bars.
It also comes with driving modes that includes Sports mode, for a more direct connection to the accelerator and tighter steering characteristics.
Typically of BMW, the i3S features the usual armada of electronic safety nets such as Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Traction Control, Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake Control and Antilock Braking System with Brake Assist.
The shell of the car, or rather the passenger cell of the car is made of ultra-strong carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) which not only makes the car safer, but also makes it incredibly lightweight.
The interior too is a grand place to be in, with a sharp focus on comfort, innovation and spaciousness. As mentioned earlier, 80% of the visible surface of the car is made of recycled materials that includes recycled plastics, natural fibres and open-pored, unbleached eucalyptus wood.
The interior of the i3S features the BMW i Interior Design Suite with a sophisticated instrument panel and exquisite upholstery in Dark Truffle Leather Vernasca. This is complemented by a Carum Spice Grey headliner and a premium leather steering-wheel.
The biggest question when it comes to electric cars though – is the amount of time it takes to reach full charge. The i3S reaches an electric range of 180km in under three hours, but this is done by the BMW i Wallbox that provides 11kW of charging power.
The i Wallbox is equipped with Wifi access and can be operated seamlessly via a smartphone, smartwatch, PC or tablet, and can access all features of the BMW Digital Charging Service.
The i3S also comes with BMW’s ConnectedDrive system that offers services including Intelligent Emergency Call, Concierge Services and Remote Services.
The BMW i3S is priced at RM279,000 and with BMW’s Dynamic Financial Program, you will be looking at a monthly payment of RM3,188 (based on 80% loan on a five-year tenure).