Get a grip! The new, fast-response traction control system will enhance bad weather vehicle control in the i3s as well as on other BMW models.
While the fact that electric motors deliver their maximum torque from the instant they’re activated is great in exciting performance terms, this on-off power delivery characteristic can be less of a joy when the road surface is slippery.
A criticism levelled at BMW’s innovative i3 electric vehicle by some owners has been that, thanks to its narrow tyres and tall body design, stability and traction can be less than ideal in unfavourable conditions. Although some more adventurous drivers enjoy a bit of controlled waywardness now and then, for many owners such handling behavior can be both alarming and unnerving. So BMW has reacted to these issues with the new i3s model, giving it wider tyres and enhancements to the car’s traction control system.
The new set-up improves traction and driving stability in adverse weather and road conditions when pulling away, in active Brake Energy Regeneration phases, and when accelerating out of tight corners. This improvement results from clever electronics that react up to 50 times faster than before.
Unlike conventional driving stability systems, the control process is now calculated directly in the powertrain, instead of in a remote unit requiring long signal paths. “With their high levels of torque and instantaneous responses to every movement of the accelerator, electric motors already make significantly higher demands on driving stability systems than conventional power units,” explained Peter Langen, Head of Chassis Development at BMW.
However, the positive impact of these shorter control cycles is not reserved for purely electrically-driven cars; this innovative new control system also optimises traction, driving stability and driving dynamics in vehicles with combustion engines. Consequently, it’ll be fitted in BMW models with front-, rear- and all-wheel drive, to deliver noticeably greater assurance and driving pleasure when road conditions make pulling away difficult.