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This I had not expected. I am lined up next to a V8-engined BMW M3, 420bhp about to burst forth into its rear wheels, as we wait to be flagged off on a sprint along the longest straight at Brands Hatch. I am in a BMW of a different letter but the same number, an i3. My car is a piece of electric-powered, urban-cool futurism. So what can possibly be the point? To see an i3 on a racetrack seems entirely irrelevant, given that it's all about sustainable transport, zero emissions, intricate schemes gaining you favoured access to charging points, parking spaces. Then the flag drops.

Perhaps the BMW-employed M3 driver isn't trying as hard as he should, but the fact is, the halo-wearing i3 takes off like it's been given an electric shock and all but keeps station with the M3 up to 50mph or so. And it makes practically no noise in the process.

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