An industrial building in suburban Detroit is the home of a $50,000 BMW lying in pieces. It’s not stolen, though the place does have some illegal chop shop flare – it’s there and torn apart to reveal its secrets.
A. Sandy Munro is the chief executive of Munro & Associates, a company that focuses on reverse engineering for the auto industry and the firm paid full price for the BMW i3 that was broken into all of its components. That’s because a lot of “good” folks in the auto industry want to know its secrets and Munro is one of the few that can provide information about the electric car. “This is, without a question of a doubt, the most advanced vehicle on the planet,” comments Munro. “It’s as revolutionary as the Model T was when it came out.” It’s a quirky looking urban car that is powered solely on electricity (ok, there’s a range extender module add-on, for a price) designed by BMW to cope with global congestion, pollution and high fuel cost (remember, gasoline has been dropping since June only).
Though the recent gas prices plunges have nailed another spike in the already feeble electric car market, the i3 in fact remains the first mass-market vehicle made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. That’s for improved driving range and a reduced mass market, but also increases safety and durability. And it’s one of the more innovative approaches that automakers have taken towards the final goal of dropping the emissions and increasing fuel economy to comply with the tough new, global goals.