IN­TER­NAL KONGBUSTION

Dr Kong thinks about bat­tle­ships and talks about two fan­tas­tic elec­tric cars which blew him away.

Torque (Singapore) - - NEWS -

YYAMATO and Musashi, the two big­gest and bad­dest bat­tle­ships the world had ever seen. Also, from a purely tac­ti­cal point of view, en­tirely use­less. With their de­struc­tion by car­rier-based air­craft, the era of the big-gun bat­tle­ship was finally laid to rest at the bot­tom of the ocean. The writ­ing had been on the wall for a while – Bismarck, pride of the Nazi Kriegs­ma­rine and re­cip­i­ent of the very best German en­gi­neer­ing, was ef­fec­tively knocked out of com­mis­sion by an old, pid­dling Bri­tish Fairey Sword­fish bi­plane. Naval doc­trine would hence­forth be de­fined by air­craft car­ri­ers.

Bat­tle­ships are old hat, and the moral of the story is that, once in a while, the very best of a par­tic­u­lar type of tech­nol­ogy will reach its zenith and then be ren­dered ob­so­lete by a great leap for­ward.

These noisy, ex­plo­sive fan­tasies of war filled my head as I zipped down Lornie Road in near ab­so­lute si­lence.

Re­mark­able, I thought, feel­ing the in­stan­ta­neous torque em­a­nat­ing from the BMW i3’s elec­tric pow­er­train.

All the virtues that in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gi­neers had been beaver­ing tire­lessly to im­prove on for the past cen­tury and more, now de­liv­er­able im­me­di­ately by the elec­tric mo­tor as a mat­ter of in­her­ent fact.

Re­fine­ment, quiet, lin­ear­ity of power de­liv­ery, throt­tle re­sponse. All were bet­ter in the Bim­mer than even the best petrol or diesel cars. For the first five me­tres off the line, I could swear this hum­ble potato-shaped lump felt like it could out-leap even a cur­rent Audi RS4.

I was also en­joy­ing, in a fam­ily hatch­back aimed at the Golf crowd, lev­els of seren­ity hereto­fore un­achiev­able out­side a Mercedes S-Class.

Car en­thu­si­asts will in­evitably mourn the pass­ing of the good old in­ter­nal com­bus­tion

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