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2014 BMW i3 On The Track: Maker Releases First Hot-Lap Video

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A race track is not the typical environment for an electric city car with narrow tires and upright styling.

Nevertheless, that's exactly where the 2014 BMW i3 finds itself in BMW's latest video, displaying its handling prowess on a closed circuit.

It's a place few actual i3 owners will ever venture, at least in the i3 itself. But there are perhaps a few good reasons BMW has chosen to demonstrate its diminutive electric car in such a manner.

The first is that it simply makes for a cool video. More and more, we're seeing electric cars used in situations they might previously have been ignored, and putting an electric city car on track shows there's more to it than meets the eye.

The second is that BMW has a reputation to uphold. The company still sells cars under "The Ultimate Driving Machine" tag--hyperbole perhaps, but a message that needs to infuse all its products to some degree.

Finally, early reviews of the i3 have been a little mixed when it comes to the way the car handles--plenty of understeer, or lacking steering feel next to other BMWs--and this video is perhaps the company's way of reassuring potential buyers that there's still fun to be had.

MORE: 2014 BMW i3: First Drive Of BMW's Radical New Electric Car

The i3 certainly looks nimble out on track and its ability to comfortably turn within the track's borders highlights its city credentials... even if the footage has been sped-up somewhat.

The squealing tires seem less conducive to handling ability, but in fairness, the average road-bound driver won't be quite as near to the car's limits as a driver on the track.

And ultimately, the i3 is still an impressively quick vehicle. With 170 horsepower and all its torque delivered from rest, the i3 can reach 60 mph in just seven seconds, certainly quick enough to uphold BMW's sporting reputation despite the car's city bias.

So whether you take your i3 on track or not, you should find plenty about its performance and handling to appreciate. And that's before you get to the futuristic cabin and its sustainable materials, or the clever carbon-fiber reinforced plastic construction.

Or indeed the BMW badge itself, and the image that goes along with that. For some, the combination of electric power and the blue and white propeller badge is more than enough.

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