As rumours swirl of a stretched i3, Euro NCAP has put the i3 through its paces and the results are not good for BMW

Automakers are a clever bunch and can usually engineer any car to receive a five star rating in crash testing. The new BMW i3 electric vehicle, however, hasn’t fared as well as you’d expect from the German automaker.

Euro NCAP, the testing organization backed by the European Union, ran the i3 though numerous tests, all of which can be seen in the video above.

Frontal impact testing “indicated good protection of the knees and femurs of both the driver and passenger,” the testing body said in a release. However, “In the more severe side pole impact, dummy readings of rib compression indicated that protection of the chest was weak,” and “The front seats and head restraints provided marginal protection against whiplash in the event of a rear-end collision.”

This news comes after rumours swirl of a lengthened i3 – dubbed i5 – which would receive two full rear passenger doors instead of the i3’s “suicide” doors.

While in Los Angeles, both Jonathan Yarkony and I had a chance to take quick drives in the i3.

“The i3 is a quirky little car, looking like a futuristic invasion pod, but it drives really smooth, and has surprisingly sporty, well-balanced feel and handling thanks to light weight,” explains Yarkony. “The interior is also a fascinating mix of traditional cloth and wood with modern, recyclable, environmentally friendly sustainable tech and materials.”

While on my drive, I was surprised by the torque delivery of the diminutive EV. Regeneration on deceleration is aggressive and definitely something to get used to. But, the car trains the driver quickly. The interior, as Jonathan mentioned, is definitely different and on the verge of funky.

If you are interested in more in-depth driving impressions, Lesley Wimbush got to spend some extended time with the i3 in Europe.

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