The BMW i3 has been in the market for three years now. The Bavarian carmaker has decided to update the electric hatchback. Apart from the cosmetic upgrades, the i3 now gets a range topping i3s performance variant with more power, lowered ride height and aggressive styling. The new i3 and i3s will make their public debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show.
The i3 gets some blink-and-miss cosmetic updates. The A-pillar and roofline arenow finished in black.Also, there are two new body colours to choose from –Melbourne Red metallic and Imperial Blue metallic.
There are additional chrome inserts around the reworked front bumper. The electric hatchback comes equipped with all-LED headlights as standard now. There seem to be no other changes apart from these subtle ones.
On the other hand, the i3s carries an aggressive design. The front bumper gets a contrasting black finish. The sport suspension reduces the ride height. The wheels are now 20-inch. The track is increased by 40mm to lend the i3s a sportier stance.
The interior largely remains unchanged. Both the i3 and i3s have the familiar cabins with exotic and eco-friendly materials. The Loft, Lodge and Suite interior trims are retained along with the standard Atelier trim.
The 10.25-inch iDrive infotainment system is updated too. It now comes witha Professional navigation system, better voice recognition, and Apple CarPlay. Along with that, there is an expanded list of BMW i ConnectedDrive apps.
The i3 continues to be powered by the synchronous electric motor producing 170bhp and 250Nm. The 0-100 kmph comes up in a brisk 7.3 seconds with a top speed of 150 kmph. The lithium-ion battery provides a range of 300 kilometres (NEDC).
The driving aids include stability control (DSC) and traction control (DTC). BMWclaims that it givesthe i3better handling and control at high speeds sporty cornering, additionally allowing mild and safely controllable drifts when grip levels are reduced.
Meanwhile, the i3s gets a bump in power output to 184bhp and 270Nm. There’s a 40 per cent improvement over the i3 with special bearing, better motor speed range and higher rpm. It also comes with a Sport mode.
The acceleration response is more direct resulting ina 0-100kmph dash in just 6.9 seconds. The top speed increases to 160 kmph.However, the range drops to 280 kilometres.
Both the i3 and i3s come with a range extender petrol engine as an option. The 38bhp two-cylinder engine acts as a generator to charge the batteries. It extends the EVs overall range in everyday use by 150 kilometres.
BMW also added a new standard charging cable to the i3’s package. The iWallbox can supply 11 kW of power to charge the high-voltage batteryallowing a range of 180 kilometres in just three hours.
With the update, the prices for the electric hatch havegone up too.The i3 is now priced at £1000 extra. The new i3s, on the other hand, retails at £32,475, while the i3s REx starts from £35,625.