BMW’S facelifted i3 has been officially unveiled ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, with a hotter i3s model joining the standard EV. While the basic version keeps the 168bhp electric motor of the current i3 – named Best Electric Car at our New Car Awards – the i3s is tuned to offer 181bhp and an extra 20Nm of torque. That means 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds; 7.7 seconds in the heavier range-extender i3s.
The i3s features lowered suspension, specially developed springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. It sits 10 mm lower, and the track has been widened by 40 mm. An optimised stability-control system is said to offer “confident handling in all conditions”, while Dynamic Traction Control allows “mild and safe controllable drifts”. There’s a revised bumper and LED lights, plus the fog lamps have been replaced by LED indicator and new C-shaped trim. The changes at the back are harder to spot, with the standard lights complemented by more contrasting colours. Two new paint finishes and a silver roofline accent will be available, while the i3s gets 20-inch bi-colour alloys and blade wheel arch extensions. There’s an updated iDrive system, with a 10.25-inch display, and Apple CarPlay is available, along with an expanded list of BMW apps.
BMW claims the overall range has been increased, so the i3 REx is now capable of a realistic 205 miles on a full battery and lank of fuel. The i3 EV has an official range of 187 miles; the all-electric i3s manages 174 miles. Owners can charge more quickly, too; the standard cable can now add 112 miles of range in three hours using a BMW i Wallbox.