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Watch a Bathurst champ test the drift capabilities of a BMW i3
By Matthew Hansen • 21/03/2017
With all of the hubbub around the advent of Tesla, the bubbly little BMW i3 has stepped into the background in a way, cowering in the shadow of the Musk juggernaut.
And in a way that's a shame, as we really like the little guy. The unique interior and exterior design, as well as the lashings of incredible technology all deserve a mention, but what really gets you when you hop behind the wheel of an i3 and poke it is the amount of fun to be had.
Granted, this isn't a hot hatch. But it's still a laugh, and more than ideal in the tight twisty urban environments i3s are traditionally spotted frolicking in.
But, how would one perform on gravel? Would it simply topple over like a cow in a stiff breeze, or is it a car to surprise?
DPCcars sniffed out the answer when they tossed the BMW's keys to noted rallying legend Rauno Aaltonen. The Finnish ace is a winner of the European and Finland rally championships, and is also a winner of Australia's most famous race — the Bathurst 500.
Yes, Aaltonen won the 1966 Gallaher 500 with Bob Holden — the one and only 'Great Race' at Mount Panorama won by a Mini Cooper. Remember that this was before the days of V8 dominance (Ford only claimed their first win with a Falcon the following year in 1967). Minis utterly dominated the race that year, locking down the first nine finishing positions with drivers like Harry Firth, Barry Seton, and Fred Gibson.
And judging by the footage of him torturing this little i3, Aaltonen hasn't lost much of his gift on four wheels. The 79-year-old throws the i3 from corner to corner, and it manages to take the sideways hooning in its stride. Part of this, as Aaltonen explains, is down to the benefits of the instant torque that electric cars are capable of.
Electric cars in the World Rally Championship, anyone?