Automotive

BMW i3s sacrifices some range, gains a lot of muscle

BMW i3s sacrifices some range,...
The new BMW i3s 
The new BMW i3s 
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The BMW i3s will debut in Frankfurt at the International Motor Show in September
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The BMW i3s will debut in Frankfurt at the International Motor Show in September
The BMW i3s will feature cosmetic differences from its i3 model siblings
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The BMW i3s will feature cosmetic differences from its i3 model siblings
The new BMW i3s 
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The new BMW i3s 
Exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels will be available for the i3s model
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Exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels will be available for the i3s model
Top speed is boosted to 99 mph (160 km/h) and 0-100 km/h time is reduced to 6.9 seconds in the i3s
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Top speed is boosted to 99 mph (160 km/h) and 0-100 km/h time is reduced to 6.9 seconds in the i3s
The i3s has a high-performance 135 kW (184 hp) electric motor that outputs a peak 199 lb-ft (270 Nm) of torque
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The i3s has a high-performance 135 kW (184 hp) electric motor that outputs a peak 199 lb-ft (270 Nm) of torque
The i3s' drive system features taper roller bearings and a modified motor controller to improve power output to the wheels at higher RPM
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The i3s' drive system features taper roller bearings and a modified motor controller to improve power output to the wheels at higher RPM
The new i3 and i3s will have an updated version of BMW's iDrive infotainment system, which now has Apple CarPlay included
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The new i3 and i3s will have an updated version of BMW's iDrive infotainment system, which now has Apple CarPlay included
The launch of the 2018 BMW i3 and i3s models comes with some changes to the car's technology and driver assistance offerings
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The launch of the 2018 BMW i3 and i3s models comes with some changes to the car's technology and driver assistance offerings
Range drops are not too severe, given the performance boosts they give to the BMW i3s
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Range drops are not too severe, given the performance boosts they give to the BMW i3s
The range-extender engine for the BMW i3 will continue to be available for both the i3 and the i3s models and is unchanged from its previous rendition
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The range-extender engine for the BMW i3 will continue to be available for both the i3 and the i3s models and is unchanged from its previous rendition
The front and rear aprons will have more sport-themed contours with black and gray edges and inlay details
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The front and rear aprons will have more sport-themed contours with black and gray edges and inlay details
View gallery - 12 images

BMW will be introducing a new model to the i3 electric car lineup, the i3s. This sportier version of the best-selling i3 reduces range by a few miles and gains a lot of power and sport handling to compensate. The BMW i3s will debut in Frankfurt at the International Motor Show in September.

The BMW i3 family will receive some cosmetic changes, mostly to paint styling and fascia molding, for the 2018 model year. The BMW i3s will feature cosmetic differences from its i3 model siblings. The front and rear aprons will have more sport-themed contours with black and gray edges and inlay details. A noticeable drop in ride height (0.4 inches/10 mm) is also seen on the i3s versus its i3 counterparts. Exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels will also be available for the i3s model.

The standard BMW i3 models are powered by a 125 kW (170 horsepower) electric motor that produces up to 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque. The range for the i3 is from 180-186 miles (290-300 km) per charge in the NEDC cycle, or roughly 124 miles (200 km) in everyday use per BMW. The standard i3 has a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) speed of 7.3 seconds with a top speed of 93 mph (150 km/h).

The BMW i3s boosts those performance figures, and sacrifices some range to get them. The i3s has a high-performance 135 kW (184 hp) electric motor that outputs a peak 199 lb-ft (270 Nm) of torque. The drive system features taper roller bearings and a modified motor controller to improve power output to the wheels at higher RPM. Top speed is boosted to 99 mph (160 km/h) and 0-100 km/h time is reduced to 6.9 seconds in the i3s.

The i3s has a high-performance 135 kW (184 hp) electric motor that outputs a peak 199 lb-ft (270 Nm) of torque
The i3s has a high-performance 135 kW (184 hp) electric motor that outputs a peak 199 lb-ft (270 Nm) of torque

Range drops are not too severe, given the performance boosts they give to the BMW i3s. The NEDC cycle estimates are 174 miles (280 km) and the BMW estimate will remain at 124 miles. All BMW i3 and i3s range assumptions are based on urban driving as the primary use for the car.

The range-extender engine for the BMW i3 will continue to be available for both the i3 and the i3s models and is unchanged from its previous rendition, adding 93 miles (150 km) to the i3's total range via a small two-cylinder engine used as an electrical generator.

The launch of the 2018 BMW i3 and i3s models comes with some changes to the car's technology and driver assistance offerings as well. BMW is adding Traffic Jam Assistant to the i3 alongside its available Parking Assistant feature. Traffic Jam Assistant is a natural evolution of the stop-and-go adaptive cruise control system found in several BMW vehicles, adding a more seamless low-speed cruise control system for the urban driver with lane-keeping assist included.

The new i3 and i3s will have an updated version of BMW's iDrive infotainment system, which now has Apple CarPlay included
The new i3 and i3s will have an updated version of BMW's iDrive infotainment system, which now has Apple CarPlay included

The new i3 and i3s will also have an updated version of BMW's iDrive infotainment system, which now has Apple CarPlay included. Some of the upgrades are specific to electric vehicles through the BMW i ConnectedDrive option. These include on-street parking information tailored to include charging availability and including information from the real-time traffic info optioned with a navigation system upgrade.

The range expectation shown in the i3's driver information display will change according to the navigation route chosen, incorporating real-time traffic data, route speeds, etc. The system can also alert others of the car's location via text messaging (SMS) through a Share Live Trip Status option.

Finally, BMW is emphasizing the sustainability factor included with the i3 models. The i3 and i3s are designed not only for locally emissions-free driving, but also include about 80 percent recycled content and are designed to be as fully recyclable as possible. The factories producing the i3 are award-winning environmentally low-impact manufacturing facilities as well.

The 2018 BMW i3 and i3s will debut at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show and will begin to enter showrooms globally in November 2017.

Source: BMW

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6 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
I would rather have the range instead of performance. If one could have range and performance, it would be very desirable.
vince
PHEVs are a stupid waste on a stopgap solution.
Daishi
@vince The i3 is a real EV. The range extender is an option to add an onboard gas powered generator (for an extra $4k). I think the biggest downside is the $44,500 base price tag and that it only has a 33kW battery. I think the i3 is more of an experiment for BMW than something intended for large volume of sales though.
swaan
The i3 is a decent EV that has been designed to be an EV - even more than Nissan Leaf which was made to fit into existing production lines. The REX (PHEV) version however is a joke that offers little more practicality as the tank is tiny and it eats into the boot space. Plus it really limits power and top speed when the battery is empty.
Nicolas Zart
I like the idea of boosting power. Although I prefer range, I know I can hypermile a car and achieve good range. In this case, it's like getting the best of both worlds. It's still my favorite EV.
Rossasaurus
I'm glad BM continues to evolve this car. I could not take the rear suicide doors that could only open once the front door was opened. I like throwing a pack or small items in the back seat before departure, but this makes it a chore. Other than that, I enjoyed a one day extended test ride. I would not buy one because of the rear door issue. Kudos to BMW for recyclable content.