BMW takes great pride in their i models, designed to be green from production to everyday use and with end of life recyclability in mind. The i3 has proven to be particularly popular with eco-friendly drivers having secured its position as top seller for its class in the premium electric car segment since 2014 across the globe.
For those demanding a more engaging driving experience, the new i3s may just tick all the right boxes. While the standard i3 is powered by a 125kW electric motor with 250Nm of torque available throughout the entire range, the i3s packs more punch with 135kW of power and 270Nm of torque. The improvements are thanks to a reduction in frictional losses at high rpm making the electric motor both more efficient and powerful when pushed. The new motor allows the i3s to hit 100km/h from a stand still in 6.9 seconds which should embarrass its petrol powered cousins in the same class.
Both the i3 and i3s have their power supplied by a high voltage battery with a large capacity of 33kW/h which delivers a maximum range of 280km. This can be further increased with the addition of the optional range extender, a 28kW two cylinder petrol engine that tops up the battery and extends the range by about 200km.
It’s not just more power that the i3s delivers, the suspension system has been tuned up to provide a more dynamic driving experience. Springs, dampers and anti-roll bars have been adjusted allowing the i3s to sit 10mm lower than the i3 and enable a more responsive drive. Under its black wheel arches sit 20 inch light weight double spoke alloy wheels that are 20mm wider for a combined 40mm increase in track which are available in Bicolour design and Jet Black.
Having secured the iF gold award for product design and the World Car Design of the Year award, the i3 is no stranger to sophisticated styling and the trend continues with a number of styling improvements for the new models. BMW’s i Black Belt now runs from the bonnet over the roof to the rear complimented by blacked out A pillars. The i3s gets blacked out roof lines while the i3 can be identified by the chrome finish. New bumpers adorn both models that visually emphasize the width of the i3 and i3s. Both models are also now equipped with LED headlights as standard and the indicators upgraded to feature LEDs so that all lighting functions use LED technology. Two new metallic paint options are available with the introduction of Melbourne Red and Imperial Blue Metallic, these join the Protonic Blue Metallic and Mineral Grey Metallic choices as well as the non metallic Capparis White and Fluid Black.
Two driver assistance systems are on offer in the form of the Parking Assistance Package and Driving Assistant Plus. The Parking Assistance Package features park distance control, a reversing camera and the parking assistant that will automatically parallel park. The Driving Assistant Plus package includes collision and pedestrian warning with city braking function, speed limit info, proactive driving assistant, active cruise control with stop and go function and the traffic jam assistant feature that allows semi autonomous driving in traffic jams at low speeds.
Both the i3 and i3s will be premiered at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt/Main in September 2017, global market launch will begin in November 2017.