2018 BMW i3s Debuts: Higher Output In A Familiar, But Sportier Package

2018 BMW i3s


2018 BMW i3s

Updates to electric vehicles that don’t include a range boost have been known to be quickly dismissed by devout EV fans. But building a better battery or improving a vehicle’s aerodynamics takes a lot of engineering dollars. Throwing some changes to exterior styling is an easier and cheaper way to bring out a “new” model while you work on the real update for a year or three down the road.

Guess which kind of update we’ve got in the new 2018 BMW i3? At least the all-new BMW i3s gives us something to talk about as we wonder about what BMW plans next for its i line of vehicles.

Let’s start with the 2018 i3, a modest upgrade of the excellent little city EV. Aside from the now-standard full LED headlights and two new paint options (Melbourne Red Metallic and Imperial Blue Metallic), a new exterior design means the i3 will have a “wider and sportier look,” BMW says, but the truth is that the 2018 updates don’t offer that many changes to the i3 we know and love.

2018 BMW i3

2018 BMW i3 (left) and i3s (right)

At least the i3s brings with it something new. Again, the width of the car is emphasized by new design elements (e.g., accent strips on the front fascia, gloss black finish on the roofline accent), but the real news here is a sport suspension with a track width that’s 40 millimeters wider than the standards i3.

2018 BMW i3s adds a 20″ tire option that is also wider than the original flavor i3

The 20-inch alloy wheels are also a half-inch wider. For BMW, wide must equate to sportiness, since the i3s also has a new Sport mode and a new high-performance, 184-horsepower motor that offers 199 pound-feet of torque. Those are small but important increases over the 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque the 2017 i3 offers. The 0-60 time has dropped slightly to 6.8 seconds, from the 7.0 previously reported. BMW says that the  driving dynamics and “enhanced e-Driving abilities” will be noticeable from behind the wheel of the new i3s.

BMW TurboCord

BMW TurboCord

As before, the 2018 i3 models will have a small gas range extender option (or REx if you will) that increases the all-electric range of around 97 miles to around 180 miles with bonus petrol-added miles.

The new i3 models will have the updated BMW iDrive 6 interface and ConnectedDrive to make navigating to an open parking spot or a charging station easy.

BMW’s new $500, 20-foot TurboCord is an option, letting you plug into a 120- or 240-volt outlet to charge your i3 at up to 3.6 kW.

Inside the 2018 BMW i3s

Below: BMW i3s Gallery

Full BMW Press Release:

The New BMW i3 and First Ever BMW i3s.

  • Enhanced exterior design giving the BMW i3 a wider and sportier look.
  • First-ever BMW i3s featuring a sportier chassis, wider track and higher performance output.
  • Featuring state-of the-art connectivity with the latest iDrive 6 interface.
  • Now featuring standard Full LED headlights.
  • New color offerings now include Melbourne Red Metallic and Imperial Blue Metallic.
  • Exclusive new cloth-leather trim combination ‘Giga Brown Natural Leather & Carum
  • Spice Grey Cloth’ now available.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – August 28, 2017 6:05 pm EDT / 3:05 pm PDT … BMW is pleased to announce the latest BMW i3 including the first ever BMW i3s, as part of the BMW i portfolio which entails the most awarded models in the automotive history.

2018 BMW i3s

The BMW i3 is the bestselling compact battery-electric vehicle in the premium compact segment worldwide since it was launched in 2014. The design of the new BMW i3 and the exclusive first-ever BMW i3s has been altered to enhance the sporty, urban built yet elegant design of the model. Featuring a wider track, wheel arch molding and design lines that are vastly horizontal, the 2018 BMW i3 models have morphed into a versatile, urban, innovative efficiency mobility vehicle. For the first time, BMW also offers a more powerful and sportier version of the BMW i3 – the BMW i3s, which can also be equipped with a Range Extender.

The 2018 BMW i3 and BMW i3s will celebrate their world premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in September 2017 with pricing being announced closer to market launch.

Electric Driving: A new era of mobility.

The BMW i3 leads the way to a new era of mobility. It is recognized worldwide as a symbol of technology, sustainability and intelligent connectivity in the urban traffic environment, which is why it has become the best-selling electric car worldwide in the premium compact segment. The recipe for success of the BMW i3 has been enhanced thanks to refreshing styling accents, cutting-edge equipment features and new digital services, but also to the addition of a new model variant – the first ever BMW i3s. Keeping with tradition, the 2018 BMW i3 models will also be available with a Range Extender. By offering premium-quality, all-electric driving experience, meaning zero emissions and performance, in combination with the latest available connected technology, both model variants represent the future of urban mobility.

The BMW i3 has been the top-selling premium electric car in its class since 2014 worldwide. It is not just the visionary electric vehicles and inspirational design that help to make BMW i so popular, but also its innovative mobility solutions and the revolutionary new form of premium character, with sustainability as a key defining element. The BMW i brand has established itself as a pioneer for forward-thinking mobility by offering such products while also adopting an all- embracing approach that takes into account the complete lifecycle, from raw material production, through the manufacture and operation of the vehicles to their later recycling.

Emission free mobility and performance.

The BMW eDrive technology enables drivers to enjoy emission-free mobility with instantaneous power delivery, efficient use of energy and an optimized range for everyday practicality that even extends beyond the demands of purely urban travel. The BMW i3 and the more powerful BMW i3s draw their energy from the lithium-ion high-voltage battery developed by the BMW Group with a cell capacity of 94-ampere hours (Ah).

BMW driving dynamics with instantaneous torque.

The agile handling characteristics of the BMW i3 have been optimized with the improved Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. This comprehensively revised, faster responding Traction Control system guarantees confident handling under all driving conditions. Traction in less than ideal driving conditions has also been noticeably improved. Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) mode now boosts agility at higher speeds and during sporty cornering, even allowing mild and safely controllable drifts when grip levels are reduced.

The synchronous electric motor powering the new BMW i3 generates a maximum output of 170 hp. Its peak torque of 184 lb-ft is available instantly from standstill, in typical electric motor fashion. This means that stepping on the accelerator pedal immediately unleashes a thrilling burst of speed. The motor smoothly delivers the kind of performance that drivers expect from a BMW via a single-speed automatic transmission, with continuous power delivery that builds up the car’s speed. The new BMW i3 accelerates from 0 – 60 mph in 7.2 seconds1 with an electronic top speed of 93 mph.

The first ever BMW i3s: a thoroughly dynamic performer.

The first of its kind and more powerful BMW i3s incorporates a number of design elements all of its own that highlight its particularly dynamic character. Both the front and rear aprons are notable for their model-specific, powerfully shaped contours. At the front, the bumper inlay and its U-shaped surroundings are in black finish. The front fascia’s side sections are bordered on their lower edge by accent strips in BMW i Blue or Frozen Grey that emphasize the width of the car, complementing the front fascia. The accent in the closed BMW kidney grille is also painted in high-gloss black to give the grille a more prominent appearance. The rear apron of the first- ever BMW i3s is likewise composed of individually styled contours, while the black surround frames an extra-wide, body-colored inlay. On the first-ever BMW i3s, the roofline accent also sports the same high-gloss black finish as the A-pillars.

Underneath all of the design elements, the first-ever BMW i3s features a sports suspension that includes a 10-millimeter drop in height. Visually broader high-gloss black wheel arch moldings’ emphasize an increase of 40 millimeters track width compared to the BMW i3 providing a stable stance and sportier looks. The BMW i3s comes standard with exclusive 20- inch light-alloy wheels in bicolor double-spoke design, which are 1⁄2-inch wider than the previously available. Customers can also specify these wheels in Jet Back finish as a no-cost option. Overall, the first ever BMW i3s is the most powerful BMW i3 to date with clearly reflected key design elements that highlight its sporty character.

New high-performance motor and SPORT mode for BMW i3s.

The first ever BMW i3s provides an even sportier interpretation of silent mobility with zero emissions and features a high output 184 hp1 electric motor that generates peak torque of 199 lb-ft1. Its updated drive system includes modified motor control and specific taper roller bearings, which have been utilized to optimize power delivery and the performance curve at higher rpm. At the limits of the motor speed range, the power and torque of the enhanced drive system represent an improvement of up to 40 percent over the BMW i3. The driving dynamics and enhanced e-Driving abilities are significant especially at higher engine speeds when higher performance and higher torque is more noticeable.

The first-ever BMW i3s features a sports suspension with specially developed springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. Drivers can now also select SPORT mode using the Driving Dynamics Control switch. This initiates more direct accelerator response and tighter steering characteristics to accentuate the car’s sporting edge. Just 6.8 seconds1 is enough to see the BMW i3s burst past 60 mph on its way to a top speed of 100 mph1.

A two-cylinder range extender gasoline engine is available as an option for all BMW i3 models. The engine drives a generator that produces power as required to feed electricity to the high- voltage battery, which becomes available whenever necessary. This extends the car’s overall range in everyday use by 87 miles1, increasing it from around 97 miles1 to a maximum of 180 miles1.

Design accents: A sporty yet elegant look.

The unmistakable, avant-garde exterior styling of BMW i3 has already picked up the iF Gold award for product design and the World Car Design of the Year award along with other accolades, and it has now been enhanced by a number of design touches that clearly convey the sporty and stirring driving experience on offer.

The trademark BMW i Black Belt, running from the trunk over the roof to the car’s rear end is now complemented by A-pillars and rooflines that also sport a black finish. In contrast to the BMW i Black belt, two new exterior paint colors Melbourne Red metallic and Imperial Blue metallic compliment the vehicle design. Besides these two new additions, customers can also choose from the non-metallic shades Capparis White and Fluid Black as well as Protonic Blue metallic and Mineral Grey metallic. A matte-chrome roofline accent on the BMW i3, as part of the black A-pillar and roof layer, add a touch of elegance. This design element also improves height perception, adding to the models stance as it widens towards the rear.

The restyling of the front and rear aprons places particular emphasis on the car’s width. The redesigned front contour highlights a wider stance with athletic characteristic. A chrome-design trim strip running across the full width of the rear and the positioning of the model and eDrive badges on the outer edges of the tailgate serves to reinforce this impression.

The new BMW i3 and the first-ever BMW i3s come equipped with Full-LED headlights as standard, which employ LED bulb units for low and high beams, as well as the daytime running lights. The new turn signal indicators also feature LED technology and are integrated into the front apron in the form of horizontal strips. This means that LEDs are now used for all lighting functions at the front of the vehicle too, as was already the case with the glass-covered rear light assemblies.

The new design elements highlight the enhanced character to emphasize a strong presence and sportiness. The BMW i3’s strong character is enhanced by the U-shaped feature line in matte black in the bumper. The horizontal LED indicators emphasize width even more. The rear shows off, the powerfully molded contours and the contrast in color between the black surround and the body-colored inlay.

Interior: great sense of roominess, sustainable materials.

Like the exterior design, the interior styling of the new BMW i3 and first ever BMW i3s is rooted in the LifeDrive vehicle architecture. The carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell has a wonderfully spacious feel about it and is dominated by a sense of lightness. The design principle of the two four-seater models means there is no need for either fixed B-pillars or a transmission tunnel. Doors that open in opposite directions allow the occupants to get in and out with the greatest of ease.

The Mega, Giga and Tera World equipment lines are available for the new BMW i3 and first ever BMW i3s as alternatives to the standard Deka version. The optional Giga World includes a new trim for the seat surfaces in Giga Brown Natural Leather & Carum Spice Grey Wool Cloth which combines natural leather tanned using an olive leaf extract with a wool-based textile material. The BMW i3 and BMW i3s apply the concept of sustainability throughout, as other materials used are recycled plastics, renewable raw materials, natural fibers and open-pored, unbleached eucalyptus wood. Over 80 percent of the surfaces visible to the passengers are made from recycled materials or renewable resources. The available seat belts in BMW i Blue for the first ever BMW i3s only, provide a splash of color in the interior. Typical BMW i Brand lettering are also visible on the front floor mats.

Technology and Driver Assistance Systems.

The driver assistance systems available for the new BMW i3 and first-ever BMW i3s ease the driver’s workload and provide support in various traffic situations, as well as helping with longitudinal and lateral vehicle control. The Technology and Driving Assistance Package offers Active Driving Assistant and Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go while Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information and ConnectedDrive Services are also contained within the upgraded Navigation System included in this package. When equipped with the Technology and Driving Assistance Package, Apple CarPlay can be enabled. Park Distance Control is a standalone option as well as the Parking Assistance. Once the system has been activated and a suitable parking space has been found, at the press of a button Parking Assistant takes control of acceleration, braking, gear selection and steering. Driving Assistance systems also contained within the Technology and Driving Assistance package include Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation and Speed Limit Info.

The latest BMW iDrive 6 interface, ConnectedDrive with navigation features and On-Street Parking Information specially developed for electric mobility.

Both the new BMW i3 and first-ever BMW i3s come with the latest version of iDrive, which provides an intuitive interface for controlling numerous vehicle, infotainment, communications and navigation functions, specifically designed for BMW i. In vehicles equipped with the Navigation system Professional, the Control Display features a 10.25-inch screen with an increased resolution of 1,440 × 540 pixels. The main menu is presented in the form of live tiles containing dynamic content. The voice recognition system has also been optimized with cloud- based off-board processing of speech. With Natural Language Understanding available with the Navigation system Professional, spoken instructions can now be executed more quickly and naturally, i.e. when searching for an address or Point of Interest, or for searching music and phone numbers or dictating e-mails and SMS messages. Natural phrases such as “find coffee shops nearby” or “take me home” make for an effortless experience. When equipped with Apple CarPlay, additional smartphone apps can be seamlessly integrated within the vehicle’s operating system.

The enhanced BMW i ConnectedDrive offering ensures intelligent connectivity through services specially tailored to electric mobility. The On-Street Parking Information search service, now available for the first time in the BMW i3, can also be used alongside the Advanced Real Time Traffic Information (ARTTI) system with the optional Navigation system Professional. On-Street Parking Information helps drivers locate available parking spaces in many major US cities. It uses historical and real-time data to determine the likelihood of finding vacant parking spots in a given area and displays the information on Navigation Map. Specifically designed for BMW i, public charging stations and information about their availability can also be displayed on the navigation system’s map. When route guidance is activated, data about the route is also used to calculate the range shown in the instrument cluster as accurately as possible. Standard on the i3, the range map provides a visual representation of the current operating radius. With Navigation Professional, the dynamic range map draws a boundary representing the maximum range the vehicle could travel on its current charge status. It is also possible to display the different ranges achievable in each of the Driving Dynamic Control modes. BMW i-specific navigation features also include intermodal route guidance. This helps users to quickly and efficiently reach their destination by factoring in local public transport timetables and connections. Regular, automatic updates of the navigation data are now also provided “over the air” in the BMW i3, using a mobile network connection.

A package of new services were introduced in early fall under the BMW Connected+ umbrella which enable a highly personalized digital experience. All of the digital services related to BMW Connected and BMW Connected+ will be available in the BMW i3 and BMW i3s. These span intelligent route planning, including stops at charging stations or gasoline stations in the case of the range extender (Send my Routes to Car), sharing of the car’s current location via SMS and live link (Share Live Trip Status). Also part of the Connected portfolio features personalized display of relevant in-car information (BMW Onboard), seamless transfer of route instructions to the customer’s smartphone or smartwatch once the car is parked (Navigate Door-to-Door) and direct syncing of contacts and addresses to the navigation system (My Destinations).

BMW Digital Charging Service enables convenient and intelligent charging.

Planned for release in the first-half of 2018 is the BMW Digital Charging Service. BMW ConnectedDrive and the BMW ConnectedDrive Portal will turn charging into an easy to use digital experience. As a result, the BMW i3 and BMW i3s are integrated perfectly into the customer’s smart ecosystem. The service’s ease of use – from a smartphone via BMW Connected or from PCs and tablets via the BMW ConnectedDrive Portal – also facilitates fully transparent, sustainable use of renewable energy. With the introduction of its unique BMW Digital Charging Service, BMW becomes the world’s first carmaker to integrate electric mobility with its customers’ digital worlds.

360° ELECTRIC: new charging cable, BMW i Charging Station.

360° ELECTRIC is a range of products and services that help make electric mobility a convenient, everyday experience. The functionality of the standard charging cable supplied with the first ever BMW i3s has been optimized and includes a temperature sensor. Charging at home is extremely user-friendly thanks to the BMW i Charging Station which can supply 7.2 kW of power to charge the high-voltage battery. This allows enough energy for an electric range of around 90 miles to be transferred in three hours – about five times quicker than with the standard Level 1 120 V charging cable. Drivers with a registered ChargeNow card have unrestricted access to the world’s largest network of public charging stations.

BMW Original Accessory: BMW TurboCordTM EV Charger.

Now available as a BMW Original Accessory the BMW TurboCordTM Electric Vehicle Charger can be purchased at certified BMW Centers for $499 MSRP. This premium charging solution provides BMW i and BMW iPerformance drivers with the ultimate charging experience – flexible dual-voltage (120 V / 240 V) capability and nearly three-times faster charging – all in the smallest, lightest UL-listed portable charger available. The BMW TurboCordTM EV Charger components have been specifically engineered by BMW to meet BMW Group standards and requirements, featuring a convenient 20 ft charging cord, and provides two chargers in one. Level 1 charging is readily available when plugged into any 120 V outlet and it also allows customers to charge up-to at 3.6 kW, nearly three-times faster than the standard occasional use cable (OUC) when used with a 240 V outlet (NEMA 6-20). Also integrated are such state-of- the-art safety features as unit and plug temperature monitoring, automatic shut-off and a rugged, waterproof, submersible enclosure (NEMA 6P) that enables users to safely and reliably charge indoor and outdoor.

Sustainability meets personal mobility.

BMW i is shaping the future of sustainable personal mobility. Its integrated concept focuses on responsible use of resources and incorporates material selection and innovative mobility services alongside emission-free driving. The BMW i3 is just as serious about the fun of driving, turning even a trip around town into an electrifying experience. The inspirational design of the BMW i3 expresses a new style, while the instantaneous power from the drive system provides an inspiring showcase for the dawn of a new era in mobility.

This car’s architecture was designed from the ground up with electric mobility in mind. Combining the latest technological innovations with an evolutionary development of the car’s design and the expansion of the model range has provided additional impetus for BMW’s now familiar take on premium electric mobility. The character profiles of the new BMW i3 and first- ever BMW i3s are focused more than ever on driving experience, which gives them all the ingredients required to strengthen their leading position in e-mobility and the BMW i success story.

Source: BMW

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64 Comments on "2018 BMW i3s Debuts: Higher Output In A Familiar, But Sportier Package"

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Very nice, how much?

Yay. A colored bumper. Rick, the meter rate is about a three bucks a mile, depending on DC traffic. LOL:


Also, didn’t that two-tone bumper scheme figure prominently in “Zee Vee-Dubb ‘Un-Pimp Your Ride'” campaign? 🙂 I vaguely remember a similarly spray-painted car getting tossed by a trebuchet, don’t I?

LOL, the bmw.ca site still only has the 2016 model available. And it starts from $47,500 CDN. I think I’ll wait for my model 3 !!

The Side view is still comical ,it makes Laugh ..Why is it so difficult for BMW to come up with serious EV ??.

Ever notice how all the EVs look different than the ICE cars, some are even comical …that’s because the legacy makers want to sell ICE cars, not EVs…But, now Tesla builds a car that doesn’t belong in a comic strip and is forcing the others to style their EVs accordingly.. The wolf is at the door and the tipping point is here. Those who delay are doomed.

With the exception of Norway, EV buyers are a very different segment to BMWs usual customers. The i brand aimed for the architect type – designer guys! – and takes sustainability very seriously. It’s great fun to drive, easy to park, efficient – and sacrifices mainly high speed stability of the traditional BMW traits. Even now it’s not totally clear how seriously the incumbents take EVs out how urgently they feel they have to move. But it’s very clear they take it much more seriously and cast the net far wider now than back when the i3 was designed. Cars are a capital intensive business. Tesla, so often said to do their thing on a shoestring, wasting nothing on advertisement or the like, spent many billions to get to the level where they can produce in a year what VW produces in a day. EVs are simpler than ICE, but they are no walk in the park! It stands to reason that any large incumbent is facing very large investments indeed to shift to electric cars. Doing so also has the effect of dramatically reducing their biggest competitive advantages – ICE-related IP and expertise. So it’s not so strange they… Read more »

Yep. For $10k less and get 310 miles of range and gets to 60 in over 1 1/2 seconds quicker.

You are comparing the price of the base 3 with the range of the upgrade 3. If you want a Tesla 3 with 310 miles of range you have to pay $44k which is pretty close to the price of the i3 at $45k.
When the base arrives it will be at $35k, but it will only have 220 miles of AER and a zippy 5.6 seconds 0-60, not the much quicker 5.1 seconds that the upgrade, 310 miles 3 will have.
The i3 falls short of the 3, but not by a huge amount. If the i3 was price competitive with the base 3 it might be worth considering, but not at $45k.

So more than twice the range and much faster and much bigger for ten thousand less is “falling short, but not by much”?

Good one.

The cars are completely different vehicles, serving different market niches. I would rather have a 3 to an i3 all day long, but if I had kids or carried stuff in the back a lot, an i3 or a Bolt might look better to me.
Is the i3 worth considering when compared to the 3? Yeah. Especially if you are a BMW fan.
But as I said, the 3 works better for me since I don’t have kids or need a roomy, utilitarian vehicle. My needs aren’t going to be what everyone else needs, though.

” TurboCord is an option, letting you plug into a 120- or 240-volt outlet to charge your i3 at up to 3.6 kW.”

wow, that is fast!!! up to 3.6kW!! That’s why this isn’t just any cord, but a TURBO-Cord !!!


simply an embarassing offer as of 2018. nissan hyundai, tela, bolt these are all tempting compared to this. Well at least it has a new paint and a TURBO-cord…so , in bmw’s eyes it must be worth the same as a Tesla M3 😉

3.6KW is pretty pathetic for a 2017 EV. That was fine for the first generation short range EVs. But even they are pretty much all 7.2KW now I think.

Oh, this is a 2018 model….even worse!

It’s not the limit of the car — “Charging at home is extremely user-friendly thanks to the BMW i Charging Station which can supply 7.2 kW of power to charge the high-voltage battery.” I’m not sure why they waste time talking about the TurboCord.

Yes. Especially since it will confuse the average consumer (as evidenced by this thread)… They should say in the same sentence that the car can charge at 7.2kw on any 240volt 30amp dedicated home charging station.
Easy peasy. Marketing basics 101.

The Turbocord is a portable Level 1/Level 2 (i.e., voltage-sensing) EVSE option which some i3 owners might want to take with them instead of the standard Level 1-only EVSE. Except for Tesla, does any other EV sold in North America offer an optional portable Level 1/Level 2 EVSE? I don’t think so. But as before, the 2018 U.S. i3’s on-board AC charger remains a 7.2 kW unit which is as good or better than any EV sold in the U.S. other than a Tesla.

I have the TurboCord, you don’t buy it because it is the most powerful, you buy it because it is small and practical. It’s also easy to have an exterior outlet installed (which I did at my Dad) So instead of taking 20hrs to recharge on the 110V, it takes 7hrs (from empty). And because it can do both 110/240 it makes it full proof.

And that thing is really small, almost fit in the glove compartment.

We have one also and really like it. works great with our Volt. ITs small and light weight and the cord does not get stiff and difficult to use in the winter time. If the turbo cord is offered as an option to the L1 normally supplied with many EVs today then I think its worth looking at.

it needs a $5,000 to $10,000 price drop to keep it competitive in 2018.

Exactly what I’ve been thinking. It shouldn’t start much more than the 2-series, otherwise it’s really hard to justify.

Yeah, if the price is the same, this is a FAIL.
GM did it right with the Volt, bit more performance but much better range & styling AND a significant price cut

Here in Sweden the BMW i3 2017 cost $36624 before taxes and the BMW i3 2018 cost $37307. If you want the i3s you have to pay $40862 so BMW really need to get the price down to be competitive. For BMWs luck the neither Bolt or Model 3 will come to Sweden before the end of next year at the earliest so they still have a chance to sell here.

If those prices include the V.A.T. (moms), i3 prices in Sweden are considerably lower than those in the U.S. Of course, our so-called President’s dangerous behavior has caused the value of the USD to drop relative to the SEK, so that helps the Swedish prices expressed in USD seem lower.

Either that or a slightly longer range battery. Even 45kwh would do the trick.

Looks very much like the 2016 and 2017 models we have at work. Not the best looking car, but if kind of grows on me. . . at least from one angle. I think they should have toned down some of the weird looks.. but I guess it’s a look many love and many hate. Just like I love the way the Model S looks from most angles, but I’m no fan of model X and model 3. What I really like about the car (apart from the handlig and being snappy) is the advanced construction and manufacturing. That is just techno porn. It has handled salty winter roads very well. We’ve had no problems with them what so ever. Since this company is in Norway, we don’t have the range extender model. I also like the total package BMW offers with regards to materials they use, due to energy and the environment. I think they should have made an i5 model, more normal looking (but still using the technology from the i3 and i8). It that makes it more expensive.. so what. It’s not for everybody. It people can’t afford it, or don’t want to spend that amount of… Read more »

“Not the best looking car, but if kind of grows on me. . . at least from one angle.”
Which angle would that be? From somewhere high above?
Sure it can grow on you but this is not the way to approach selling ev in numbers. The only people touching this are ev enthusiasts.

It looks good directly from the side.
You can admire the sharp angle of the windshield, it’s supposed to have a good aerodynamic number: .29 drag coefficient.

From the front it’s ok.
I see many of these every day, and as mentioned we have some of them at work.
They work perfectly and all, but they could have done way better With the design.
I’m sure BMW don’t want to sell too many of these – as the production of the car is kind if a learn as you go, With all the manufacuring Technology used.
I’m sure they will offer volume models in about the same time as VW.
The release of two electric niche models is on purpose.

I think it’s a sharp looking car. The looks are the best part other than the stupid two tone paint jobs. Then again I also own a Subaru Baja which is also ugly by most people’s standards and has ugly two tone paint jobs. Had to search for a solid color blue one. Same with i3. It’s looks are probably not for everyone based on the comments consistently posted here but I think it looks great! ‘No accounting for bad taste’ I suppose.

Staring down those ugly nostrils in front gives me the willies.

Does the roof come in any color other than black? If not, that another reason not to buy it.

The roof is clear-coated CFRP, so it isn’t painted black unless it includes a sunroof. But it does soak up solar infrared radiation and re-radiate it into the interior, so I will be looking for an exterior infrared radiation rejecting film to install.

Well based on all my extensive test drives, the i3 already feels much sportier than the eGolf, Bolt, or Leaf through the canyons, so the i3S model will distance it even further ahead. Again, rear engine, RWD, sophisticated multilink suspension, and lighter weight makes the i3 much sportier feeling than the other compact EVs out there. BMW is usually very conservative with their ratings. I will bet the i3s will put up numbers that easily beats the manufacturer’s claims for HP and acceleration.

The i3 is a spirit drive than those, yes, but the gap will shrink, not widen, because the new LEAF and e-Golf get relatively greater changes than the i3. No doubt the BMW will remain far ahead though.

Carbon fibre reinforced plastic is at least as important as motor power in this regard. The low weight not only makes the i3 a fast accelerating car, but also an agile one. Combined with the short wheelbase it’s about as much fun as anyone should have driving in the city – but on the highway, it feels slightly nervous. It doesn’t like side wind much either.

Anyway, this is old news! Bring on the electric 3-series so we get to see the contours of what an electric, regular BMW, not a sub-branded BMW i, will be like, and whether it’s something to give Tesla some much needed competition!

i3 is already in “warm” hatchback territory. Looks like the upgrades i3s gets takes it to full hot hatch levels of performance. I’d take one over a GTI!

New 40kwhr battery next year so do make sure you ask for a deep discount.

Just look at the multitude of interior shapes and textures. From the leather covered dash to the quality of the center console and switch gear. The new I-drive system is very intuitive with advanced connectivity. This is a BMW with advanced construction materials including the CFRP. Many of these other cars people are trying to compare it to scream econo-box quality. There is more to it than just a big battery and heavier weight. Look at it from the perspective that it is a bargain as most CFRP cars cost a few hundred thousand dollars. The steering response and RWD architecture is already at a level above the FWD EV’s out there. With wider tires, retuned and lowered suspension, this car will be a BLAST to drive. And if you really need to go over 100 miles/day, then pick up the rex option, which on longer trips will be the more practical option than a 250 mile BEV that you have to plan your trip around available chargers, instead of a 3 minute readily available gas station stop.

If the engine works properly AND you code it to function as it was intended.

It’s arguably a more advanced vehicle than a Tesla. It is a verifiable fact that more research and development money has been put into the i3 than the Model 3 for instance. Much of that money was put into material design. These material advantages are going to pay long term dividends in the entire BMW lineup. For instance carbon fiber is starting to show up in other BMW vehicles. NOBODY has this ability but BMW. The weight savings and strength improvements that are going to move across BMW will be monumental

What is this 3.6 kW charging nonsense? BMW, you should be talking about 10 kW charging (40 amps) and longer range.

3.6 kW Home Charging available – without installing a Home EVSE, if you have the right receptacles available, versus most Non Tesla’s come equipped with just a 1.4 kW Charging cord. This is not the charging speed limit!

Read… it’s the TurboCord not the car. The onboard charger is 7.2kWh

Someone tell BMW to watch Tesla model 3 event. And when finished, watch again.

Is this serious? BMW is 5 years behind with this model — and certainly will ask for $50k for a reasonably equipped version. No thanks — I’ll take my Model 3 — beats the i3 in EVERY WAY

Those of us who don’t want a sedan won’t even consider a Model 3. I haven’t owned a sedan since 1966 and will never own one again. The compact exterior yet spacious interior and decent cargo capacity with the rear seats folded flat make the i3 much more appealing to me than the Model 3. I also value the i3’s aluminum/CFRP/thermoplastic construction over the Model 3’s mostly steel with a bit of aluminum construction which will rust away unlike the i3.

After Leaf2 comes to market this BMW will take the title of the ugliest mass produced ev on the road…there is no excuse for BMW to make such car unless they don’t want to sell it in numbers. There is no way someone seeing this car for the first time would guess it’s a BMW.

well, I think historically bmw is where it always was with EVs. i3 came few years later than Leaf, Tesla S and chevrolet Volt. Now when all these players came out with new upgrades, bmw still lags behind by few years with more advanced EVs. They should have started way earlier. Now they will always play catch up. Or they simply act reactively on what others do

There are two reasons people keep saying BMW is ‘lagging’.
1. Total EV range
2. Less power

The power is way more than sufficient and adding a bigger motor is trivial. Choosing not to try to make it the world’s fastest car improves the efficiencies and increases its effectiveness as an EV.

By using light weight materials (very advanced and probably a decade ahead) and the smaller battery pack, BMW creates an increase in effectiveness of total CO2 lifecycle usage vs long range large battery EVs. This fact makes it more advanced as it is post ‘big motor and big battery’ pure ‘buy it at any price’ market space. It is my OPINION that the Rex is the superior configuration.

It’s not just range and power. The i3 also lacks in room, seating, and value.

The i3’s performance and REx was attractive when it debuted, but competition has stepped up over the years:
-2016 Volt
-2017 Bolt
-Model 3
-2018 Leaf

The 2018 update did little to make the i3 better, and it’s just poor value now.

CFRP in EVs has questionable value right now. Even if it saves 500lbs (I doubt a steel/alum car of the i3’s size would weigh 3100lbs), that would only increase highway range by maybe 5% at most (other EVs have *better* highway mpge). In a modern EV, CFRP will save maybe 3kWh of batteries and 5,000 kWh of lifetime electricity, while consuming a lot more energy during production and costing more.

Look at it as a positive.
The car is a fantastic ride, but, with those ugly bulldog looks, you can get a nice discount from BMW.

If we want evs to succeed we can’t have cars like this on the market. We need car enthusiasts to buy these not ev enthusiasts. This is a great car from an engineering standpoint but it was given a horrible design…why? Were the BMW designers in vacation?

97 miles EV range? Surely that’s the old battery?

Nope, the old battery was 82 miles.

It still looks like a clown car to me.

Haha… agreed. First I3 I saw from afar I thought was a Geo Metro with a DIY hatch repair.

But, the Geo Metro Looks better, and came in a ‘Proper’ 4 Door Offering!

I think this new model would sell like hot cakes at say $29k, but that is not what they will be selling for lol. I don’t understand how they have a chassis designed exclusively to be an EV yet they can’t exceed 100 miles electric range. I think these German manufacturers would rather sell ICE cars and it sure as heck shows.

Excited to find out if this will be competitively priced. In markets where the Model 3 will be available, this needs to be priced sensibly. In the UK, we won’t see the Model 3 for quite some time. I’m interested to see what happens with the prices of used 2016/2017 94Ah i3’s, as I’ll be looking to buy in Jan/Feb next year.

This car come with an automatic one gear transmission?

I guess it automatically select the only one without failing!

Great job BMW!

I wonder how many tires are available for the i3s’s wider 20″ wheels. (There is only one tire available for the previous i3 20″ wheels, and it’s not all-season.)

What a non-vehicle. It’s about as sporty vs. a standard i3 as gluing on racing stripes.

I want to see a real sport variant, something like the Zoe e-Sport.

What’s missing from the report is that in 2018, the i3’s battery will be upgraded to 42kWh (92Ah->120Ah). Remains unclear whether that will be an option or an upgrade at current prices
(source -in German: https://www.heise.de/autos/artikel/BMW-i3-Facelift-3814341.html).

The 120 Ah battery cells will apparently not be available until late 2018 which probably means a 43 kWh gross battery pack ( 38 kWh usable?) would be a 2019 model option. Even that larger battery pack likely won’t increase the i3 BEV’s range to more than 160 miles, ~twice the range of the original i3 BEV whose 60 Ah battery pack was half the capacity.

There is an i3 Sport model? I want one.

It’s amazing how long it’s taking Samsung to get the 120 Ah cells to market. It’s already a year since they were first shown, and still a year before they’ll arrive…

I like the i3 a lot, but it’s becoming expensive without a range boost in 2018. It’ll be interesting to see if it can hang on to sales (market share will decline for virtually all models in the several coming years simply because so many new models are coming) and whether BMW drops the price.

Any increase in range. That’s the primary thing with plugins.