Luke Ottaway's picture

BMW i3 REx has a potentially dangerous flaw, but a fix is on the way

The BMW i3 is an excellent car by nearly all accounts, but the range-extended REx model has an engineering flaw that could prove deadly. Luckily, BMW is addressing the issue.
Advertisement

Back in June, Torque News compared the i3 REx and the Chevrolet Volt, the two most prominent plug-in hybrids (the proper term for these two is range-extended electric vehicle) on the market today.

We pointed out that the Volt has a more robustly engineered powertrain that is designed for extensive use in range-extended mode, and took some flak in the comments section for suggesting that the performance of the i3 REx can suffer in certain driving situations due to the size of the backup gasoline engine.

How it works

A quick refresher course first: the U.S.-spec i3 REx has an all-electric range of 72 miles while a tiny 1.9 gallon fuel tank provides an additional 78 miles once the battery has depleted beyond a certain level. An equally small 0.68-liter two-cylinder engine hums to life to generate electricity to feed the battery, which keeps a small buffer in reserve for periods of high demand that the gasoline generator cannot meet.

Unlike the Volt, the i3 REx is primarily an all-electric vehicle that comes with the optional gasoline range extender to broaden the vehicle’s appeal to customers with longer commutes. It was never intended to be used heavily in range-extended mode, whereas the Volt was engineered to handle long road trips.

In most driving situations the i3 REx in range-extended mode performs just as it does in EV mode, as many drivers are happy to point out. This isn’t the case in all circumstances, however, which we suspected and was confirmed by The Telegraph in a test drive.

Now, the well-respected magazine Consumer Reports has provided further validation to the fear that the i3 REx has a potentially dangerous flaw when driving on gasoline.

Loss of power when you need it most

Consumer Reports first points out that the gasoline backup is fine for high-speed steady cruising, but then notes that the vehicle displayed an alarming drop in power when pushed to the limit.

A test driver who accelerated hard to pass a truck on a hilly two-lane highway found that the vehicle “began to lose power without warning, subjecting the driver to more exposure in the oncoming lane.” Though the i3 recovered quickly after it was permitted to coast, the scenario of making an uphill pass on a two-lane road is not that unusual in the United State. No vehicle, especially a BMW with a driver accustomed to brisk acceleration, should subject the driver to an unexpected loss of power in that situation.

Consumer Reports, curiosity piqued, subjected their i3 REx to more tests in range-extended mode to determine the extent of the problem.

“After a prolonged use of the throttle with little or no speed varying and no gentle braking to regenerate energy to the battery, acceleration ability falls off dramatically,” wrote Gabe Shenhar.

How dramatically? The i3 REx in range-extended mode posts an official 0-60 time of 9 seconds (it does 7.5 seconds in EV mode). In the depleted state Consumer Reports subjected the vehicle to, the magazine measured 0-60 mph acceleration time of a plodding 27-40 seconds.

A major concern, but a fix is coming

As we stated before, the i3 REx in range-extended mode offers sufficient power to handle most driving situations you can throw at it. It was always intended to be an urban car anyway, and the gasoline backup is designed only for occasional use. There have yet to be any stories (that we know of) involving an i3 REx driver like the Consumer Reports tester getting into a deadly accident as a result of compromised performance.

It is a very real possibility, however, and BMW is addressing the issue accordingly. Matthew Russell, a BMW spokesman, told Consumer Reports that a fix will arrive in spring 2015 and will also be available as a retrofit for existing owners.

“It will include a battery state-of-charge indicator, an early alert prior to potentially experiencing a temporary loss of power, and a proactive boosting of the battery level based on the car’s navigation prior to entering hilly terrain,” the magazine reported.

Short of implementing a “mountain mode” a la the Volt, the proposed modifications to the i3 REx seem to sufficient to avoid a catastrophe. The vehicle should have had an SOC indicator to begin with, just as it should have come with an impending power loss warning. But the battery power boost using the navigation system is a clever solution that, coupled with the other two indicators, should render the issue moot. We would strongly recommend that current i3 REx drivers opt for this retrofit when it becomes available.


Subscribe to Torque News on YouTube.


Follow Torque News on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Comments

How would bmw i3 cars without the OPTIONAL navigation system (on the international market at least) cope, if the provided solution would depend on the navigation system to be available?
mujer y sexo chicas contactos vigo videos sexo anal doloroso actrices porno americanas sexo comics sexo web cam sexo viejos porno spain fotos eroticas sexo sexo indu corridas sexo porno pros sexo gratis asiaticas videos porno swinger chico busca chico bcn contactos alicante mujeres madura busca joven para sexo busco hombre para viajar paginas porno gay gratis conocer gente nueva chat sexo en japon contactos algeciras mujeres porno hob anime porno gratis ver videos porno maduras videos porno transexuales gratis sexo entre mayores contactos con mujeres en bilbao serie porno novelas porno porno manga gratis contactos chicas en murcia porno gratis manga videos porno de celia blanco peliculas gay sexo videos porno para adultos fotos porno gratis chica busca chico vitoria sexo ama de casa chicas buscan novio porno descarga gratis escenas sexo cine sexo romantico gratis ver videos de sexo gratis sexo en pelicula ver peliculas pornograficas gratis animaciones porno sex porno hd gay sexo madrid vedios de porno gratis sexo gratis web cam
Hello. And Bye.
Eskadron is among the most valued equestrian brands in the entire world that focuses primarily on the creation of supreme quality design clothing and equipment. This Italian concern has been set by Pikeur trying to meet up with the jockeys' needs, who were searching for professional but also stylish equestrian accessories. Thus, why is Eskadron so special and why their collections are so popular among riders?Eskadron -- why do riders from all around the world love this new brand? Eskadron is tremendously popular with horse-riding lovers for several or even more years now. This brand's products are distinguished by their highquality attention for detail. Eskadron can also be appreciated for their unique viability, elegance, innovativeness in their own projects, modern layout, and availability. The new offer has both pro items and ones for recreational riders. Thus, you can find basic equestrian clothing, expert equestrian, and assorted accessories necessary for your proper saddling of a horse. Eskadron offers saddle fabrics, halters, rugs, bell boots for horses, boots, fly vases, drapes, however additionally hoodies, tshirts, breeches, also reveal jackets. All products include the eu, which additionally verifies their caliber.Eskadron's collections Eskadron has lots of collections. Some are seasonal, others are constantly accessible their deal. The very popular collections of the brand are: Vintage Sports - launched twice per year, this lineup consists exclusively of horse riding equipment. Services and products out of this collection are extremely easy, in standard soft colors but at the identical time quite tasteful. Platinum Card - launches once annually for those who enjoy conventional solutions. You'll mostly find gray and black shades combined with delicate image themes. Young Star - lineup for children that begin their experience with horseriding. It has basic horse riding accessories in bright colours and exceptional designs. Equestrian Fanatics - clothing line made for riders that like to stick outside. Available coats, hoodies, and backpacks successfully combine casual clothing with equestrianism. Classic offer - Their constant offer of clothing, equipment, and accessories. It is possible to find products used for training and regular rides but additionally elegant reveal clothing. Eskadron can be a new used by cyclists from all around the globe. For the sake of riding and safety both yours and your horse, it is well worth investing in high quality articles, which will enable one to fully appreciate this sport that is exceptional.