By on March 16, 2011

The whole BMW-goes-front-drive thing has come as somewhat traumatic news for a number of Roundel fans, and at first blush, you’d think this camo’d BMW i3 would only stoke these fans’ fears. At least with its camo on, it’s a funky, decidedly un-BMW-like shape, all stubby nose and high, rounded roof. Think MINI meets Audi A2, and you’re getting there.

But unlike the other i-branded BMW that’s been winter testing, the i3 immediately identifies itself as an heir to its brand’s sporting legacy, kicking out its rear end in the Swedish snow. That’s right: despite the MINI-esque looks, the i3 is no front-driver, as its BMW-designed and built electric motor sits under the trunk and drives the rear wheels. Add a carbon fiber reinforced plastic body and possibly a range extender to the mix, and you’ve got one compelling (if expensive) little subcompact, rear-drive EV proposition…. and it looks like it’s a hoot in the snow. The i3 may not help BMW fans get over their front-drive phobia, but it should help bust the perception that EVs have to be mundane.

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