BMW i3 To Get Souped Up “S” Version For Model Year 2018


In addition to increased range and some exterior restyling, the BMW i3 is expected to get a sporty, range-topping version in late 2017 when the refreshed model arrives.

BMW i3

BMW i3

Autocar reports that the sporty version of the i3 will be called the i3S. Most of the modificaitons for this sporty i3 focus on performance, inclduing handling and off-the-line acceleration.

There are no specific details available at this point in time, but it’s believed that the i3S, euipped with an uprated electric motor, will cut perhaps up to two seconds off the i3’s current 0 to 62 mph time of 7.3 seconds.

The i3S, along with the restyled non-sport 2018 i3, are both expected to debut at theFrankfurt Motor Show next September.

Autocar adds:

“The i3 range as a whole will get minor styling tweaks, but aside from adjustments to the car’s bumpers and possible changes to the headlights, the car’s overall look will remain largely unchanged. The interior is expected to be refreshed with an updated infotainment system, too.”

As for range improvements, we’re now led to believe that that the 2018 i3 will boast only slightly more range than the current 114-mile rating of today’s i3. Maybe 130 to 150 miles, according to reports.

The first facelifted i3s will go on sale in early 2018.

Source: Autocar

Categories: BMW


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52 Comments on "BMW i3 To Get Souped Up “S” Version For Model Year 2018"

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AWD please


Range rumor is disappointing.

With GM losing 9k per BOLT… I think the other car makers with more moderate ranges are simply trying to get the cars to pencil out as profitable. Get the BOLT while you can… gonna be a limited model at 9k loss per.

If One is considering the i3 ,the Bolt Is a No Brainer for way less Money & 10 Times the Car!…

Yes. An Impala is also better than a 3 series.


Agreed that if you leave performance, handling, room, price, technology, and space out of it, the i3 definitely has it all over the Bolt EV.

Right. “Performance” and “Handling”

Lol. I had someone like you as a co-worker once. Nobody else would be talking about their cars, but this guy felt the need to explain why his special edition Pontiac something was actually “a sports car”. We all know that guy 🙂

Please explain how the Bolt will be “way cheaper” than the i3.

Buying: Bolt buyers on here are expecting to pay sticker, according to comments I’ve seen. i3s are seeing discounts big enough to cover the $5,000 difference between the base Bolt and base i3.

Leasing: According to Leasehackr, who worked out actual lease costs for a base Bolt using info from GM, the Bolt will cost $14,558 for a 3 year lease in California. That is significantly higher than an i3 would cost in California. That’s not even better per year than I pay in Florida (with no state incentive), and my i3 has $6k of options on top of the base price (MSRP $50k).

So, again, please explain how the Bolt will be “way cheaper” than the i3.

I really want the Bolt to succeed, and I’m considering one for our next car, but the continuous claims that the Bolt is “way cheaper” than the i3 by many different people are simply not backed by the facts.

Just remember to buy a GPS or a cellphone mount to mount your smart phone. All that money and no built in GPS??? Wow

The i3 and Bolt are both great EVs. The current i3 is more than enough range for me. (My only complaint are the doors but for many it is no issue.)

But the Bolt will be sold in far greater numbers than the i3. Also I haven’t seen any indication that Chevy is losing 9K on every vehicle.

If that were the case and they intended to lose money on it and sell it in small numbers, they could have just updated the Spark EV range and saved some cash. 😛

AFAIK the only credible cost estimate for the Bolt EV has come from Jon Beriesa. His detailed cost breakdown concluded that the base model Bolt EV would cost GM $32,500.

But hey, why rely on someone with demonstrated expertise when you can quote some random fool on the internet who is trying to resurrect his discredited story about the Bolt EV roll out, or lack thereof. That story was based, as you remember, on a single conversation with a sales person at a Chevy dealership. Seriously, why wouldn’t a credible journalist rely on information passed on by entry level sales guy at a car dealership?

Based upon what numbers, and according to what person? Please provide a name and backing numbers.


I’m tired of this anonymous “person familiar with the matter” fud with no backing numbers. We’ve been going through this same fud since 1990 when the Prius came out. It always turns out to be bogus math that either assigns all the development costs to a ridiculously small number of cherry-picked units, or assigns development and factory work for future models to current models.

Honestly we don’t even know if the “person familiar with the matter” quoted in the Bloomberg article even calculated anything.

Without the known credibility of the source or at least some numbers from this anonymous source, that $9,000 number might as well have been pulled from thin air on the spot.

Welcome to the age of no accountability journalism. Your imaginary narrative will become truth if you shout it loud enough for long enough to at least sow enough doubt that people think your truth is just as likely as any.

This is total BS Jeff. Show me where GM claims it will lose $9K per Bolt? This is something FCA whined about years ago and it has nothing to do with the Bolt.

Some fools said the same thing about the Volt losing $50K per vehicle too. I guess they didn’t understand the concept of amortization.

I read a Bloomberg article about this looking for any actual information. There was no information in it at all.

The only things specifically related to the Bolt was:

‘The Bolt’s anticipated per-sale loss of roughly $8,000 to $9,000 is an estimate based on a sticker price of $37,500, according to a person familiar with the matter. A GM spokesman declined to comment on the expected profitability.’

As a person who follows the tech industry quite closely, I can guarantee that a statement from a “person familiar with the matter” means less than nothing.

Here is the article. The $9,000 is based on no evidence, just speculation and quoted losses on the Fiat 500e.

Come on everyone, we have seen this BS FUD before when the Volt came out!

I think its likely that this “Bolt loses $9,000 per car” claim is part of a very well funded disinformation campaign being waged by fossil fool interests and those alt-right propagandists being paid to spread it.

Its probably no coincidence that this bogus claim is following this other campaign against Tesla/Elon Musk:

Most people here should know this was BS immediately.

Misinformation often spreads faster than information. It has better click-bait headlines.

A lot of social media has become nothing but collections of misinformed hive-minds.

Don’t quote that s*** on this site where most posters are far more intelligent. If GM was losing $9000 on the bolt ev then why did Canada get a $2500 discount?

“IF” the Bolt is a $9K loss, I’d hate to think how much the others are losing on their upcoming 200 mile EVs.

I think BMW’s plan for offering AWD will continue to be the Mini Countryman PHEV. The Mini Countryman is likely the better candidate for AWD, for people who want AWD for bad weather and winter use. Having a PHEV with a gas motor that can heat the cabin without cutting into range, will reduce the range impact of the worst of bad weather.

The Countryman PHEV ALL4 would also likely do better on this test:

Get rid of the ‘muppet pig’ face and put some real tires on it!

They heard you, apparently.

There is only so much make-up they can put on this pig.

I think it looks like a little piggy bank.

except white and black ones. They look like storm troupers…

storm troopers

I was following an i3 on the freeway today and there is a huge potential for improvement in styling. I’m glad BMW is finally starting to get it.

High performance in a car that looks like that? Maybe BMW should focus on getting the range at the current 200 miles benchmark instead.

I would love an EV that I could take to the dragstrip and actually impress people, without having to buy a Tesla. As it is, there just aren’t many options for that. I keep wishing GM would have a higher performance version of the Volt. I’d love a Volt with a 5-second 0-60 that I could take to the drag strip and actually challenge gas cars.

I think that if you take a Volt to the strip, you may wind up burning GAS!

While I would love Chevrolet to release a performance EV I don’t think it’ll happen in the next few years.

But! If what you want is a GM Plug in that can go 0-60 in 5 seconds…. you probably want a Cadillac CT6 Plug In Hybrid.

0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds. 30 miles EV range. Just not at Chevy Volt pricing.

It’s not going to smoke a P100D or a BMW i8 but it should outperform most competition including an entry level Tesla.

Most people that support GM support them because the cars are American made…Not the CT6 PHEV, it’s made in CHINA…The price is way up there for the privilege of driving a made in China GM product which also requires gas to get a descent 0-60…

Did Cadillac state that the 0-60 time was required the gas engine? The electric top speed is 78 MPH, and I have not seen a different 0-60 time running on battery power but I might have missed this.

As far as being made in China, it’s true that this is important to many people. But he didn’t specify it had to be American made.

He did specify that he wished there was a car that was *not* a Tesla and that he would like a performance Volt which could hit 0-60 in 5 seconds. The CT6 Plug-In pretty closely fits that description. 🙂

The Bolt goes 0-60 in 6 seconds. That’s pretty respectable for an economy car.

Trade in your Volt and i3 for a Tesla, problem solved…One insurance bill and free supercharging…

Ha! We also have a Volt and an i3. I like the idea but the only problem is me and my wife often have to be at 2 separate destinations simultaneously.

Agree David. Unfortunately, the only car on the horizon that seems to meet that criteria may be a Tesla Model III. I don’t see anyone else offering up a BMW 3 series sized competitor as either a PHEV with DECENT EV range or a full EV. Heck, I would even be OK if the Volt implemented the 2016 Caddy ELR’s style gas+ engine in a “Sport +” mode (ideally the gas engine would come on only when the pedal is nailed so you could just leave it in this mode all the time and only use the engine when max acceleration was needed). I do prefer my old gen 1 Volt’s size to that of my Tesla.

There’s nothing impressive about taking a stock production vehicle to the drags. Let’s see: light turns green, push pedal to floor, hold wheel straight…change radio station, adjust rear view mirror, take sip of coffee, stop, turn around. Wow, fun and impressive.

Nice! Needs a nice simple blacked out paint job, and it would be hot. (no blue or grey accents, etc).

It will be interesting to see if the more powerful motor actually is more efficient in standard test cycles….

Based on the roadmap of Samsun SDI, the next release will have double the density of the 2013-2016 version, so expect a pack with around 44kWh, may be more if they can stack cells in the same cell-pack.

We also know they are developping a new version of the electric motor (more power?, more efficient? both?).

Looking forward to the announcement.

I really enjoy my 2014 i3 REX

cool. Care to share linkie? That would be nice reading.

Thanks guys, definitely good reading.

This would help BMW’s other PHEV’s quite a bit too. It would transform ranges that are better suited for the EU market than the US market into Volt-like range vehicles.

Frequent small incrememental range increases with early announcements is actually a very good business idea in the EV market.
One of the biggest negative forces on purchasers has got to be “but the better one is just around the corner!” If you know the better one is only 10-20 miles better you can safely buy the current one knowing what you are going to miss out on.
If the upgraded version is rumoured to be 100 miles better no one buys the current one, Nissan LEAF sales are feeling this now.

Where can I get such nice doted foil?

Can BMW just put normal tires on the car please. No more skinny tires.

Pretty good to get another 20% bump in range as soon as next year.

Err, year and a half from now.

Doesn’t matter that the i3 has less range than a Bolt. I don’t need over 120 miles of range per day. And if I do, DCQC here in SoCal is easy. For those that need more range, the upcoming irex total range will probably beat the Bolt anyways, and be able to make trips the Bolt can’t if relying on public charging. And with RWD and 5 second 0-60 times, I would pay much more for an i3s than a Bolt with a rental car plastic interior. I have driven a ton of cars, and none of the FWD cars can compare with the RWD cars when it comes to their understeer and torque steer and front tire wear, etc .

From the article: “There are no specific details available at this point in time, but it’s believed that the i3S, euipped [sic] with an uprated electric motor, will cut perhaps up to two seconds off the i3’s current 0 to 62 mph time of 7.3 seconds.”

COME ON. Either use the faster i3 BEV number (6.5 seconds), or say that there are two i3 models, with two very different times.

Those quoting Bolt EV times should use more accurate numbers than a sloppy “6 seconds”. At these low numbers, fractions make a big difference. Is it 6.0, or 6.5? Big difference.

May the fastest car across the intersection win 🙂

i saw a couple of bmw i3’s today while i was driving around (not the same car twice). i don’t understand the appeal of this car. at best, i would say that the bmw i3 is definitely an acquired taste as i didn’t find the car to be attractive at all. the tall and relatively narrow track doesn’t look sporty at all.

If BMWi painted it all on color, added a second motor, larger battery and normal body work without the stupid window, and normal tires it might sell like hotcakes.