2016 Brings New Paint Colors For BMW i3


BMW has added three new color options for the i3 in 2016. At the same time though, they have deleted three colors, so the i3 is still available in six different colors. The pessimist may say, “It’s still only available in Solar Orange, and fifty shades of grey,” and while they wouldn’t be entirely incorrect in saying so, I think the changes are an improvement over what was previously offered.

Fluid Black

Fluid Black

The best addition in my opinion is the new Fluid Black. I had the opportunity to see a Fluid Black i3 in person earlier in the year and I was instantly sold. I believe this is going to be the top selling i3 color in 2016, and I would have ordered my car with it if it were available in 2014. So the i3 color options in 2016 will be as follows:

The original Capparis White, Ionic Silver and Solar Orange remain available. Arravani Grey, Laurel Grey and Andesite Silver have been dropped and Fluid Black, Platinum Silver and Mineral Grey have been added. You can download the 2016 i3 PDF brochure which has the color chart from this link.

*Editor’s Note: This post appears on Toms’ blog. Check it out here.

Andesite Sliver (seen above) is being replaced by a new color called Platinum Silver

Andesite Sliver (seen above) is being replaced by a new color called Platinum Silver

The changes are really not too dramatic, but do make sense. The two least popular colors, Arravani Grey and Andesite Silver have been dropped, along with the very popular Laurel Grey. Andesite Silver was replaced with what appears to be (in pictures at least) a very similar, Platinum Silver. Arravani and Laurel Grey have been replaced with a single grey color option called Mineral Grey. From the pictures, it looks like it’s a combination of the two previously offered grey colors. It’s lighter than Laurel Grey was, closer to what Arravani Grey looked like, but it’s metallic like Laurel Grey.

Laurel Grey almost looked black in certain conditions. This picture is of me on my delivery day back in 2014.

Laurel Grey almost looked black in certain conditions. This picture is of me on my delivery day back in 2014.

These changes to the grey offerings make total sense, especially when you consider that there is a black paint option now. Laurel Grey was very dark, and even looked like it was black if you were standing at a distance, or if it was parked in the shade. I believe that the Fluid Black color would decimate sales of Laurel Grey because it would be so close. By combining Arravani and Laurel Grey, and offering a lighter colored, metallic grey which is clearly different than Fluid Black, there is enough color separation for both colors to coexist.

Arravani Grey (or Battleship Grey as I called it!) will no longer be offered.

Arravani Grey (or Battleship Grey as I called it!) will no longer be offered.

One of the things I like about the new Fluid Black is that the car is monochromatic with it. I’m not totally against the i3 having a black hood as an accent for certain colors. In fact, I think it looks great with Capparis White and Solar Orange in particular, but I also think that the i3 looks good in certain colors without the black accent, or “Black Belt”, as BMW calls it. I wrapped my car red the first week I got it because I wanted a color that popped and also wanted to see how it would look in all one color without the black hood. I’m happy I did so and have had many people ask me about it. I think the bright red really gives the i3 a more aggressive look, something I know that many i3 owners would like.

My red wrapped i3 next to an Andesite Silver one.

My red wrapped i3 next to an Andesite Silver one.

When I was first told that BMW was considering new color options for 2016 I (somewhat) jokingly asked if “Moloughney Red” would be offered sometime in the future. The BMW product manager quickly responded “Don’t hold your breath, Tom” – with a smile. I may be partial, but I think it would go over pretty well if it were offered, what do you think?

Moloughney Red

Moloughney Red

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27 Comments on "2016 Brings New Paint Colors For BMW i3"

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GM and Nissan are adding battery capacity/range, and BMW gives us paint?

We can only hope they are being coy about a 150-200 mile pack for 2017.

Just to remind you, GM sells one converted electric car in three states, maybe, the Spark EV.

AFTER 25 YEARS of BSing us around.

That’s all I have to say about that.

1. They started it all with the EV1.
2. They’ve been selling the Volt for 5 years now, which is still the most capable EREV. FYI, Volt drivers average the same number of electric miles as Leaf drivers.
3. They are already releasing their second generation Volt (and it’s not just a new color).
4. They also sell the Cadillac ELR. You forgot that one. And yes, they sell the Spark EV as well.
5. They are planning to release the first affordable long range (reasonable range really) BEV in 2016.

So far BMW has given us an underwhelming PHEV sports car (i8) that is priced out of reach of almost everyone, and the equally underwhelming i3, which has some cool carbon fiber, but essentially matches the range and functionality of the 2011 Nissan Leaf.

GM is in the top three companies that have made meaningful strides in EVs (I’m counting Nissan and Tesla as the other two). Why are you trying to imply otherwise?

Did you just cal the multiple award winning i8 “underwhelming”?

Well at least we know where your biases lie…

only it’s battery range us underwhelming.

It’s not as fast as a super car, it doesn’t have the range of a decent PHEV. It pipes artificial engine noise into the cabin to make the driver feel cool. That’s all underwhelming to me, but of course that’s a subjective argument.

It’s looks are impressive, I’ll give it that. What do you find impressive about it?

I’d sure like to see the EV2.
That would be hot.

I wouldn’t consider an i3 unless it was the Rex version. In which case the range is plenty. Truth be told, the range is plenty in the BEV version 95% of the time. The rex version would make it to 100%.

I agree, though. I think they need to up the range, especially on the BEV version to at least match the Leaf.

I’ll take pink and purple polka dots if the darn car had a 33kwh pack, even a 30…..

Still as ugly as before:-) How can BMW geniuses not see this…

BMW geniuses? Thats hilarious!

I’m feeling generous today:-)

Didn’t see it? It looks like they hired the guys at Nissan who designed the Leaf. BMW does not have a lock on ugly.

The i3 is offered in orange and 5 shades of gray.

That’s pretty much how I look at it too. Pitty they don’t have blue or green.

Would you like 50 shade of grey? 🙂

Here in the S.F. Bay Area, ‘Imperial Stormtrooper’ aka ‘Panda’ (well, ‘inverse Panda’, and officially ‘Capparis White’) leads the color choices by far. I see at least three times as many of them as any other color, and maybe of _all_ the other colors combined. Must be all the Lucasfilm employees and groupies!

Maybe they could add Yellow, since they are ambiguous about there commitment to EV Charging for EV’s in general?

I think the Sunset Orange is appropriate, since EV’s are going to gradually set the sun on other power plants, particularly-Diesel’s. And that Black Hood is a reminder of the crap that Diesel’s put into the air! And the crap in the air in front of all EV’s! 🙂

Well the latest CR economy tests showed the efficiency of the i3 blew away the rest of the field. More efficient than an iMiev, and much faster and roomier to boot.Quite an accomplishment. In September, did the i3 just outsell all the GM plug-ins combined?

So why don’t they offer it in a non-two-tone version? (not counting the all black version)

Independent of any thoughts on the i3 (which I own and love!), I feel the need to come to the defense of GM here. They were pioneers in the EV movement, and they have been steadfast in their efforts to find a way to make EV’s work in mass market vehicles even as they went through all kinds of corporate trauma and drama. Have they stumbled along the way? Sure. But you have to give them some love for continuing to try.

Yeah the i3.. with range extender it becomes expensive, without you better buy a new leaf or soul EV.

I don’t really understand the appeal. I mean I wouldn’t mind owning one just the combination of price and what you are getting for it are a bit off..

Maybe after a couple years I’ll still buy an i3 Rex on the second hand market though…

I don’t understand the fascination with mostly bland and dreary colors. A couple of bright color choices would be nice. This comment isn’t restricted just to BMW though.

This is what focus groups do to your color choices.

Was recently out in San Diego, saw an all black I3 with deeply tinted windows. Have to admit that it was visually very attractive. Maybe it disguised the various dips and “cuts” in the body shape(eg: the rear behind where the door pillar would be if it had one). Actually thought it was a very good look. Out here in Pennsylvania, have seen a few mainly white ones, they looked pretty good too.

Fluid Black will look even better after a high-quality window tint job.

I personally don’t expect BMW to change much in their i3 until 2017/18. Because that seems to be the magical time frame for all the other car makers too. Everybody seems to be saying they will do something cool in 2017/18.

I didn’t consider the Volt because I was prejudiced against GM after seeing the film “Who Killed The Electric Car” years ago. I considered the i3 yet ended up with a LEAF for practical reasons and because it has the lowest EMF’s (radiation) inside. The EMF’s in the back seat area of the BMW was horribly high. Would never let a child sit there.