Refreshed BMW i3 range
- Features updated technology
- New i3s adds a sportier, more powerful option to the list
- Both the i3 and i3s are available with optional range extender petrol engine
- LED headlights and SatNav now standard across the i3 range
- Available to order now from £34,070, range extender from £37,220
THE case for electric vehicles has become more compelling with the announcement of a refreshed BMW i3 range.
The updated BMW i3 range, with new models and options, features a more powerful i3s version, updated technology, and new design touches.
The new i3s is a sportier version incorporating a 184bhp electric motor – as opposed to the 170bhp motor in the standard i3 – and modified drive system. The BMW i3s is not designed with outright performance in mind but the additional power is enough to make the i3s more responsive.
The new version is also lower and wider than the regular i3, comes with exclusive 20-inch alloys, and boasts uprated sports suspension.
Both the i3 and i3s are available with the optional range extender petrol engine to make longer journeys more practical without compromising the economic reasons for choosing one in the first place.
Emissions figures range from zero to around 15g/km depending on whether you opt for the range extender. BMW figures suggest that the fuel consumption of the range extender versions hovers somewhere around the equivalent of 400mpg.
The lithium-ion high-voltage battery in the BMW i3 offers an all-electric range of around 125 miles of everyday driving. The optional 38bhp range extender petrol engine can produce sufficient charging power to increase this by an additional 90 miles.
The design touches in the refreshed BMW i3 and i3s include a restyled front and rear to emphasise the width and give a sportier look. LED headlights are now standard across the i3 range. There is also a wider range of colours to choose from on the updated i3 range.
The interior remains light and airy but with a few new trim options now available. A range of driver assistance features are now also available on the BMW i3 including park assistance, traffic jam assistance, and a wider range of safety systems such as active cruise control and speed limit information.
The updated BMW i3 also boasts an updated version of the iDrive system with improved voice control and On-Street parking information service. The infotainment system allows for smartphone integration to handle e-mail, phone, and SMS message functions. Apple CarPlay is still not included as standard but does feature as an option.
As well as improving connectivity every i3 will now come with the BMW Navigation system Professional as standard. BMW Connected features such as intelligent route planning and charging station availability will also be available in the updated i3 range. There is also a live link capability that can sync contact details and allow routes to be transferred between the car and your smartphone for door-to-door navigation.
The BMW i3s in more detail
The sportier BMW i3s is powered by a high-performance 184hp electric motor that generates peak torque of 270Nm. Modifications have been made to the driver system to optimise power delivery and the performance curve at higher rpm delivering an improvement of up to 40 per cent over the BMW i3.
The BMW i3s also features sports suspension with specially developed springs, dampers and anti-roll bars and includes a 10mm drop in ride height. Drivers can also select SPORT mode using the Driving Experience Control switch which delivers a more direct accelerator response and tighter steering characteristics.
The additional 40mm of track width compared to the BMW i3 is given added visual impact by the black wheel arch borders and exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design that are 20mm wider than the previously available versions. They come as standard in Bicolour and are optionally available in Jet Black.
The BMW i3s is capable of get from zero to 62mph in 6.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 99mph.
BMW will also offer the iWallbox with updated i3 models allowing faster charging times and more intelligent use of cheaper electricity. The BMW iWallbox can provide sufficient charge for around 112 miles in just three hours and can also be controlled via a smartphone app.