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2018 BMW i3 and i3s revealed

2018 BMW i3 and i3s revealed
CarTrade Editorial Team CarTrade Editorial Team Thursday 31 August 2017, 14:08 PM

BMW has updated its electric hatchback, the i3. It also gets a range topping i3s performance variant with more power, lowered ride height and aggressive styling.

The i3 gets some blink-and-miss cosmetic updates. The A-pillar and roofline are now 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-inches in radius. 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 have been retained along with the standard Atelier trim. The 10.25-inch iDrive infotainment system has been updated too. It now comes with a 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). BMW claims that it gives the i3 better handling and control at high speed sporty cornering, even  allowing mild and safely controllable drifts when the grip levels are reduced. Meanwhile, the i3s gets a bump in power output to 184bhp and 270Nm. There’s been 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 in a 0-100 kmph 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 battery allowing a range of 180 kilometres in just three hours.

With the update, the prices for the electric hatch have gone 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. The new i3 and i3s will make their public debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show.


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