Anybody Following David Tracy's i3 Saga?

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Staff member
Sep 9, 2019
Auto journalist David Tracy of The Autopian formerly of Jalopnik bought an i3 -- an old and extremely high mileage i3 -- and has been posting a series of stories leading up to it and now post-purchase. If you don't know David, he usually buys rusty junk and gets it running. A few years ago he traveled to Germany to buy a diesel manual Dodge Caravan (or was it Plymouth?) to make road legal and drive across Europe. Well, little does he know i3s don't rust.

I wouldn't have done the same but am excited for his choice and we'll see how this one turns out. Looks like he's just in under the wire for a warranty battery replacement. Hopefully, via his readers, he'll have full access to any and all non-dealership resources that he may need for unplanned gremlins that are bound to pop up on an aged, 150k car.

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Yes! Love that he's doing this, the i3 is a great used car if you're willing to take the chance on the battery, the REx and other electronic gremlins.
Nice. Adrian's summary hits it nicely on the head.

I didn't know that an i3 designer went on to Canoo – I can see some of the spark in that design. I hope it makes it!

But i3 wasn't a complete waste in the face of BMW's current lineup of cartoonish EVs – the VW ID.4 also had i3 talent on its design team, where some of the open-cockpit aesthetics were carried over, as was the EV-practical stubby-hood, just in more publicly-acceptable packaging. You could say the ID.4 got some of the i3 skin but not the guts. Except rear wheel drive! That was unexpected from a modern-day VW product.

I'll bet in the coming 5 years we see more EV choices that harken back to the i3, because it's so practical. Tastes change, just not overnight. When I was reading that article a Mini ad was in the middle of the scroll, and that "throwback" car has such an unnecessarily long hood in relation to the photos of the i3 right underneath it. As more buyers realize the interior and exterior possibilities made possible by elimination of the huge block of hot metal they no longer need to carry around, they'll begin understand.