BMW has killed two birds with one stone, facelifting its i3 electric vehicle and simultaneously launching a more powerful BMW i3s.
BMW has also developed a new charging cable that, working with a new version of the BMW i wall-mounted charger, can top up either car's charge by as much as 180km in three hours, five times faster than the old standard cable.
Make that versions - plural - as the Bavarian maker is not only rolling out the second-generation i3 but adding a sportier version that it has dubbed the i3s. We'd recommend adding the available 2-cylinder range extender which boosts range to 180 miles.
First introduced in the 2014 model-year, the BMW i3 has won a range of awards, most notably being named World Urban Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show last spring.
The i3s also comes with a sport mode for the driving modes selector. The 2018 BMW i3 range will include an optional range extender (internal combustion engine). It also boasts lower suspension (by 10mm) and wider front tyres (by 20mm - the i3 has famously narrow front tyres for the benefit of aerodynamic performance), while the track is a full 40mm wider, whichshould lead to sharper, sportier handling (not that the standard i3 was ever especially lacking in such sensations). Its A-pillar and roofline now receive a glossy black finish that matches other accents on the auto. The nose has been tweaked to broaden the car's stance, and accents new, standard-issue LED low and high-beam headlamps. This gives it a sportier, more aggressive look.
The i3s gets an extra 14hp from its electric motor, for a total of 184hp (compared with the standard i3's 170hp) plus an extra 20Nm of torque (270Nm versus the standard i3's 250Nm). It's a BMW i3 with some added sportiness.
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Inside, the focus is around a new 10.3in infotainment screen that runs the latest version of BMW's iDrive system, as seen in the new 5 Series.
New optional features include parking and traffic jam assistance systems, which enable the vehicle to park itself and maintain a set speed in slow-moving traffic respectively. There are two battery options to choose from: a 24kWh that enables a theoretical range between charges of 124 miles and a 30kWh that extends this to 155 miles. Both versions have their wheels driven entirely by the city car's electric motor which is paired with a single-speed transmission. Its engine puts out 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. All of that makes the i3s capable on 0 - 6 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds, with a 100 miles per hour top speed. It cuts launch times down to 6.8 seconds and the top speed has been bumped to 100 miles per hour.
Six months ago, our spies managed to spot the 2018 BMW i3 refresh draped in heavy camouflage. BMW says 80 percent of the i3's visible surfaces is made from recycled materials or renewable resources. Drivers can engage a more spirited Sport mode, much like traditional, gas-powered BMW models.
Starting at £34,070 for the entry i3 EV and rising to £40,125 for the i3s ReX it is not the cheapest way to get into electric motoring, but BMW is banking on their technology and calibration expertise to rationalise the high asking price.
Today, BMW has confirmed that after revealing the 2018 i3.