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Discussion Starter #1
C/NET posted an interesting piece on the i3 including the following photo of the BMW's gear-shift "lever" ...



"... a sort of twist-grip that's mounted to the right of the steering wheel. You simply angle it in the direction you want to go. "The semantics tell you cleanly what you need to do: twist forward to drive, twist backward to reverse."

It is time for the gear-shift lever to 'go away' I think, tho BMW's approach may not be the best way to do that, but at least they are trying something innovative, so kudos to them!

Read more here:

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_...=nl.e404&s_cid=e404&ttag=e404&ftag=CAD1acfa04
 

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That's fine and all - one thing I'm wondering about with that though - do you have to switch to park before you can go into neutral or reverse?
 

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It is time for the gear-shift lever to 'go away' I think, tho BMW's approach may not be the best way to do that, but at least they are trying something innovative, so kudos to them!
+1. Gear shifts should be simple 3-position buttons, so this is a good start.
The Volt's huge faux-gearshifter was a misguided attempt to make it look familiar to an ICE car. It wastes valuable space that would much better have been used for a smartphone dock.

I saw the i3 in person at Amsterdam Airport last week. It looked better than I expected and it definitely looked roomy and fresh inside. The tall 19" rims are seems a good idea: it looks good and the narrow width keeps resistance in check.
 

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+1. Gear shifts should be simple 3-position buttons, so this is a good start.
The Volt's huge faux-gearshifter was a misguided attempt to make it look familiar to an ICE car. It wastes valuable space that would much better have been used for a smartphone dock.
I like gear shifts as a place to rest my right hand while driving.
 

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The Volt's huge faux-gearshifter was a misguided attempt to make it look familiar to an ICE car. It wastes valuable space that would much better have been used for a smartphone dock.
Sorry but i must respectfully disagree. I use my car to get me to work. I have to report to work at various locations and must rely on my co-workers to drive my car back to the main garage. The familiar ergonomics of the Volt shifter reduces the learning curve when I have to explain to someone how to operate my car.
 

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I like gear shifts as a place to rest my right hand while driving.
Ahem. It's supposed to be on the steering wheel. But with so many years of manual transmissions I do it too. But, interestingly, not in a Prius, where I generally do keep both hands on the wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have to agree with Pete and rdunniii about using the Volt's gear-shift as a "rest," something I do every time out. In fact, I have come to "love" the electric parking brake which I use at every prolonged stop, and it is so convenient to rest my right hand on the gear-shift with the PB button just a finger's reach away ... then gently accelerate out of the park and off. Love it! But, on the other hand, the gear-shift in our Volt does take up room we could use for other things, so I don't know...
 

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LOL. Read the comments following the article - virtually all are mocking the i3 for everything from its weird styling to its high price. This car more and more looks like it could end up being BMW's Edsel.
 

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LOL. Read the comments following the article - virtually all are mocking the i3 for everything from its weird styling to its high price. This car more and more looks like it could end up being BMW's Edsel.
I wouldn't place too much faith in those comments. Keep in mind any article about the Volt elicits a similar response from the readership (or at least the 1% that bother to leave comments) In fact, even an article about any Apple product will also have similar responses and it is quite obvious they are very successful. Personally, I would like an i3 and have seriously considered trying to buy one. But the trouble is that it would be a stretch for me to afford the base-model but I don't think I'd be satisfied unless I had the REX version. So the price is just too high for me.
 

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Thanks RCB268. I hadn't seen that one.

I'd like more info on the NVH with the range extender running. The info provided in this review is rather sketchy.

The reduced power/reduced speed event is odd. Why would the driver need to take action to prevent this from happening under what seems like normal circumstances? In the Volt, this would only happen on a long uphill grade if the driver forgot to turn on Mountain Mode with sufficient time to have reserve charge at the time the long uphill grade is reached.
 

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The Volt's huge faux-gearshifter was a misguided attempt to make it look familiar to an ICE car.
Right! So people who are new to the whole idea feel comfortable. The more it feels like a "normal" car, the more accepted it will be and bought.

I didnt even look at a Prius. I want something that feels like a car, not a science experiment.
 

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Right! So people who are new to the whole idea feel comfortable. The more it feels like a "normal" car, the more accepted it will be and bought.
I think its odd that GM decided to build this plastic phallus-shaped shifter contraption in the Volt. There have been many cars before with steering-wheel mounted shift handles, so I can hardly imagine that it causes more of a 'shock' than the electronic parking brake. If BMW's i3 is not a success, it will certainly not be due to it lack of an antiquated shifter.

I don't really mind as much having the shifter, but I do mind that it has robbed us from the best spot to dock a smartphone or a small tablet. All other options (suction mount on windscreen, side of shifter) turn out to be horrible spots. A good spot to mount and charge a smartphone is key.

Imagine not having the shifter and instead being able to organically slide in an ipad mini or a galaxy note in the same hole in the dashboard. It can display awesome Google maps navigation (or Waze) and do any other the other infotainment. Even better, it is constantly upgraded with the latest apps. For a few hundred bucks (tops) the lowly Volt's infotainment system would beat a $100K Tesla and most other cars. A misplaced sentiment for familiarity to dinosaur-blood driven cars prevents this glorious feature.
 

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I'm not losing sleep about not looking at my phne while driving. I charge in plugged in the center console and leave it in the hole behind the shifter.

I ask On star for directions. I paid for it, I'll use it. Its one my screen and talks. Thats good enough for me.

I got turned onto a Volt after driving the company one. We also have Prius, which I wouldnt buy unless it was super cheap. Why? Because it *felt* silly. It didnt feel like a car. The volt.... If you werent told it was electric, you could hope in it and never think youre in anything different then a "normal" car.


Thank you for saying "Parking Brake". It isn't an emergency brake. And even if it was, most drivers today are too dumb to use it as such. Shoot, most people (me included) dont use it in anything that has a "P" in the shift pattern.

Case in point. Heres a woman in a Escape with a stuck throttle. She remembering the training TVs CHiPs offered gave her son the "Abondon Ship" command....Leaving a Pilotless Escape to run where ever it wanted in an area with a Fuel Station, a mcdonalds and a day care center. It finally came to rest smacking a pickup without enough speed to light the bags.

Evolution kicked in and she hit her head and died. How she got 53 years of life is beyond me.

http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/83079/3/Police-And-Ford-To-Investigate-Fatal-SUV-Accident
 

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LOL. Read the comments following the article - virtually all are mocking the i3 for everything from its weird styling to its high price. This car more and more looks like it could end up being BMW's Edsel.
I don't think it will flop. My roommate is a car guy and currently owns a BMW 335i and a Mercedes SLK55, he's had a couple 'Vettes, Audi TT, BMW Z4, Porsche 911 and a few others.

HE even likes the i3. He was talking about possibly trying to get one... which would be interesting since I have the Volt at home... parking would be interesting... and he'd have to pay to have another 240V circuit set up with an EVSE closer to the front of the garage so he could charge it.

Good thing is he's not too serious about it.

Anyway, I think the i3 will have it's niche. I hope it is successful.
 

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I'd like more info on the NVH with the range extender running. The info provided in this review is rather sketchy.
+1. The reviewer said that what he should have done is to engage the range extender when he still had about 30-40% charge in the battery. I didn't know that this was possible. Is it like the Volt's MM mode where engaging the range extender early helps recharge the battery and therefore allows highway speed performance at the expense of a shorter range then estimated with the extender on?

For example, they estimate a range of 100-180 with the range extender. So if you engage the range extender earlier on at 40% charge, does it mean that you can maintain highway speed but maybe the range will drop to 100-140 or something like that?
 
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