BMW has updated the i3 to keep up with the growing crowd of electric cars and range extender hybrids on the market. Thanks to improvements in battery technology, the model lineup has grown to include a 33 kWh battery version offering 58 percent more range than the current car.
The i3's increased range comes courtesy of improvements in battery technology. Even though the new battery is the same physical size as the 21.8 kWh unit in the current 60 Ah car, the more power-dense 33 kWh battery in the new 94 Ah model allows range to grow from 190 km (118 mi) to 300 km (186 mi) on the New European Drive Cycle.
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Perhaps more impressive than the improved test-cycle results are BMW's claims about real-world performance. In a stark reminder about how different the daily commute looks to a test cycle, BMW says the update will give owners a 200 km (124 mi) range in normal driving conditions.
That means regardless of how hard you're driving, how high the heating is set or how loud you're cranking Taylor Swift, you should still be able to cover the distance between Los Angeles and San Diego with range to spare.
Acceleration figures from the 125 kW (170 hp) electric motor are unchanged, meaning the updated i3 will make it to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.3 seconds.
If you're still concerned about range after the update, BMW will continue to offer a range extender version of the car. The little two-cylinder petrol engine adds another 150 km (93 mi) to the range - enough to allow a 33kWh i3 fitted with the range-extender option could cover 450 km (280 mi) in absolutely ideal conditions.
The update also includes the option for a more powerful home-garage charger.
Just like Tesla Model S owners, people who were early to the i3 party can have the new batteries retrofitted. The 60 Ah model will continue to be sold alongside the new 94 Ah model, although no pricing details have been revealed yet.
Source: BMWView gallery - 13 images