By : RACHNA TYAGI
Can there possibly be anything more thrilling than waking up in the morning and flying out to the capital just to slide cars? Well, that’s exactly what we did recently. A few kilometers away from the capital, in Gurugram, we got a taste of not one, not two, but three totally droolworthy mean machines that most speed addicts would kill (metaphorically speaking), to get their hands on. The best part? They were all EVs! We’re talking about BMW’s latest – the i4, their remarkable iX, and the cutesy MINI Electric. Driving three different body styles and performing those slalom maneuvers on a specially created track was a helluva way to spend that hot, sunny afternoon. Needless to say, we made the most of it.
First up was the iX, BMW’s AWD Electric SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle), a CBU (Completely Built Unit), in Phytonic Blue. This SAV was what we’d been really looking forward to driving ever since we set our eyes on it late last year. The iX with its range of 425 kms and two high voltage Li-ion batteries really impressed us and no, not merely because of its gorgeous olive-leaf tanned natural leather upholstery and all the ‘Shy Tech’ on board, but because of its brilliant handling on the track. No doubt, it is a BMW and drives like one, but what we were absolutely not prepared for was its preciseness. This 6.1 second EV with 326hp and 630Nm of torque is just what we Auto enthusiasts live for and while it was a dream to maneuver it on that track, we really wished we could unleash all that power on some open roads and get a real feel of its power. Every single input was so beautifully received and we were absolutely delighted with the sheer performance of this SAV and how it turned out to be so unbelievably nimble on its feet. We expected some body roll too, but frankly, we barely felt any, despite some wild maneuvering on the track. Also, that hexagonal steering – was truly next level – unlike anything we’ve seen before. Let’s just say that the iX is truly legendary and therefore we won’t be surprised if this INR 1.16 Crore SAV will go down the annals of history to be counted amongst one of the finest early EVs ever built by a car maker.
150 kW DC Charger – 80% in 31 min/ 95 kms added in 10 min
50 kW DC Charger – 80% in 73 min/100 kms added range in 21 min
11 kW AC Charger – 100% in about 7 hrs/100 kms added range in 2.5 hrs
Next, it was time for the MINI Electric in White Silver with neon yellow accents and suddenly, we had transformed into the female counterpart of Jason Bourne who famously drove the MINI through the streets of Paris in one of the most beautifully choreographed action scenes of all times. Of course, Gurgaon is no Paris, nevertheless, we were just plain chuffed about driving this extremely agile 3-door Electric hatch and doing a couple of crazy turns on that track while getting a feel of the MINI Cooper SE – the first All-Electric premium small car in India that has no rivals yet. This INR 47.20 Lakh car impressed us not just with its cockpit but also with its handling thanks to its 32.6kWh battery that puts out 184hp and 270Nm of torque. This 7.3 second FWD hatch with four driving modes and a top speed of 150kmph is just what you’d want to get if you’re looking for something that is not only a hassle-free car when it comes to parking but also a hoot to drive every day. And that 270 km range isn’t too bad either.
50kW DC Charger – 80% in 35 min
22kW DC Charger – 100% in 3.5 hrs
Of course, we saved the best for last – the BMW i4. After having driven a SAV and a premium hatch on the track, it was finally time to get behind the wheel of a proper sedan. Now, the i4, is the sort of sedan that you just want to jump in and start driving and that’s exactly what we did, and within seconds we were grinning from ear to ear. The i4 is not just super sharp to look at but everything about its handling is also super crisp. Let’s just say that its engineering is jaw-droppingly brilliant. How else do you describe an Electric sedan with a 493-590 km range (Highest EV range on offer, in India, currently), which uses a 83.9kWh Li-ion battery that puts out 335hp and 430Nm of torque, while giving you that low center of gravity? Not to mention its blisteringly quick performance with 0-100 in 3.9 seconds flat and a a top speed of 225 km/h. We got to experience its outstanding braking prowess at every turn as we dived into those corners with full gusto. Of course, it was noiseless, except for that distantly faint sound of a whirring motor which frankly, we were rather amused by. More importantly, we just loved the way the i4 set the track ablaze giving us so much confidence at every fast turn. The i4, in our opinion, should definitely see a lot of takers because there are many out there who know how to appreciate a sporty sedan that is not just powerful, but also comes with a good range, and is available at that very attractive price tag of INR 70 Lakh. Not to mention it is also an EV which will not be gnawing at your conscience, thanks to zero tail-pipe emissions. So, go ahead and lead the way. Afterall, what can be better than indulging yourself with ultra-modern tech on wheels, right?
11 kW Wallbox Charger – 01.23 hrs
11kW Flexible Fast Charger on industrial unit – 01:23 hrs
2.3kW Standard Charging Cable or Flexible Fast Charger on Household Socket – 07:01hrs