Environmentally conscious automotive enthusiasts have a lot to get excited about following the 2014 iteration of the New York Auto Show. While there was a wide range of great, gas-less vehicles being shown off at the famous automotive show, there was one that stood out from the crowd enough to win the World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car for 2014. It’s a great coup for BMW, who have recently gone all-in with their new “BMW I” series of environmentally friendly vehicles, but it’s also surprising when you consider the competition it was up against, and the fact that its design is pretty out there – definitely not the most conventional looking car.
The battle for the World Green Car saw the insanely efficient BMW i3 up against Volkswagen’s ultra sleek XL1, an electric-diesel hybrid, and Audi’s A3 Sportback g-tron which runs on a revolutionary new “E Gas” system. But ultimately the BMW i3 prevailed against the German competition, being hailed as the most efficient and expertly designed green vehicle of the year. The judges analyzed tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption and advance power technology in their search for a great green winner, and judging by the fact that the i3 doesn’t even have a tailpipe; it’s not hard to see how it beat out the competition.
As far as World Car of the Year goes, the competition was even stiffer. Beating out the exquisite and highly praised Mazda 3 as well as the stunning Mercedes-Benz C Class, many were surprised that the oddball, off-the-wall design of the i3 was chosen. However, any good auto mechanic or automotive technician could tell you that ultimately it’s what’s under the hood that counts, and the i3 features some absolutely genius engineering and design, which is ultimately what put it over the top in terms of a crowd favourite.
Check out a video of it in action here:
Featuring an all electric powertrain, the BMW i3 can go for over 200 km on a single charge in its most efficient driving mode. The i3 features three distinct driving modes: Comfort, Eco Pro and Eco Pro +, with the Eco Pro + mode being the most efficient. The i3 is capable of getting from 0 to 60 in about 7.9 seconds. Part of what makes the i3 so wonderfully efficient is the use of carbon fibre in the body design, one of the first production cars of its kind to feature the extremely lightweight yet durable material so heavily in the design. The i3 is also an extremely safe vehicle, having garnered a 4 star safety rating from the European New Car Assessment Programme. All in all, despite its left-field, zany exterior, the absolutely jaw-dropping efficiency of the i3 makes it abundantly clear why so many people in auto careers can’t stop praising it. If this is any indication of how things are going to play out in the world of green vehicles, BMW has a bright future ahead of them.