Last Saturday, Delphi announced Delphi Drive — the first ever autonomous cross-country drive — which will start in San Francisco March 22 and end in New York City a few days later.
I play with a lot of mobile devices each year. While some are larger than others, a few are so big that they don’t fit in the palm of my hands or even in my messenger bag. I’m talking about electric and plug-in hybrids vehicles, of course — tech which defines mobility not in terms of fitting in my pockets, but in terms of moving me around. Then again, it helps that I’m both a phone enthusiast and a car buff.
Since 2010, I’ve covered a wide variety of autos — from Toyota’s Prius plug-in hybrid to the Chevy Spark EV. I’ve tested Ford’s Focus Electric and Fusion Energi. I’ve even driven Tesla’s phenomenal Model S. Today I bring you my take on BMW’s ActiveE, a limited-production electric 1-series coupé that served as a testbed for the company’s i3 city vehicle. Like the Focus Electric, it’s built on a platform that was originally designed to be gasoline-powered. Like Tesla’s Roadster it uses a chassis with a credible sporting pedigree. Still, it slots between these two in terms of price, performance and practicality.
Last year, I spent a weekend driving the ActiveE on the hilly streets of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate bridge and on the highways and twisty back-roads of Marin county. Has BMW hit the sweet spot when it comes to making an affordable electric sports car? Is the ActiveE fun to drive? Does the actual range match what’s on the spec sheet? Is the ActiveE the foundation for BMW’s electric future? Join me on a very special road-trip after the break.
Here’s my video review: