Despite warnings from BMW that anyone interested in sampling a new i3 could have to wait months for a test drive, they are freely available if you ring around, What Car? research has revealed.
According to the company’s sales boss, Ian Robertson, dealers are struggling to keep up with demand: 'We have long waiting lists for test drives, and over 100,000 people have registered for one. Obviously the cars need to be charged between drives and dealers are working hard to cope with the demand.’
However, we spoke to BMW i dealers around the country earlier today, and all of them could offer us a test drive this Saturday or next weekend; many could offer both the full EV and range-extender versions for us to try.
One dealer in the Midands told us, 'We can squeeze a test drive in late on Saturday afternoon, or the diary is pretty much empty all of next week, and next weekend we're completely free.' A BMW i specialist in the North West said, 'You can take a test drive in the next five minutes if you want to.'
A BMW UK spokesman revealed that the network had recently been given additional cars to cope with the demand for test drives.
The new i3 city car has been in huge demand across the world, with the UK buyers being amongst the keenest to sample the new carbonfibre-built baby BMW. So far the company has taken 10,000 orders, with the pure electric version being the most popular variant. In the UK the order bank now stands at 510.
The forthcoming i8 supercar is proving to be just as popular. It will go on sale next year but Robertson admitted that all of next year’s production is now accounted for, so anyone ordering one now will have to potentially wait until 2015.