BMW i3s Coming To Frankfurt

MAY 28 2017 BY MARK KANE 33

It’s expected that at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show in September, BMW will unveil a facelifted i3 and also a new performance version – dubbed the i3S iPerformance.

BMW i3 Facelift Spy Photos

Unfortunately, the lithium battery inside the BMW will remain unchanged (33 kWh), but the powertrain will get about 20 hp more peak power, enabling better performances.

“The increased performance of the i3S iPerformance is allied to a number of detailed chassis tweaks, including the adoption of a 40mm wider front track and a 10mm reduction in ride height over the standard version of the updated i3.”

BMW probably needs all the assistance it can get with the i3, as competitor’s new models (with greater ranges and much lower costs) have caused i3 sales to stall in several major regions, including the US of late.

In our minds, figuring out a way to shoehorn in an extra 10 kWh of battery (upping the range from 114 miles to more like 150) would be the most optimal solution to finder a larger market for the quirky EV.

Autocar listed what we should expect from the face-lift:

  • subtle styling updates that help to visually differentiate it from its four-year-old predecessor
  • re-profiled front bumper housing new slim line fog lamps in place of the round units used today
  • altered LED headlight graphics
  • revised sills underneath the doors
  • reworked tail-light lenses
  • a deeper and reshaped rear bumper
  • new alloy wheels
  • wider range of optional two-tone exterior colour schemes
  • new range of trims
  • reprogrammed the dynamic stability control system of the i3 to provide the facelifted model with added grip and traction in wet conditions
  • an updated iDrive infotainment system

source: Autocar

Categories: BMW

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33 Comments on "BMW i3s Coming To Frankfurt"

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Breaking the connection EV / clownmobile is overdue. The i3 hasn’t been helping. Let’s hope for a redesign then.

Scrap​ it.

Looks classy to me.
Smart efficiency and performance, along with the best hardware in it’s class. Excellent independent suspension, vented disk brakes, aluminum frame, carbon fibre body.

And what I like is short wheelbase for spirited driving in the city and the country. Along with room for 4 adults to enjoy that ride.

A GREEN BMW 4 passenger sports car is genius.

Yup, drove and sat in the Bolt. ONLY reason I may still get one is the 5 passenger status, as we carry small kids sometimes. Other than that, the i3 is much more sporty in its driving nature. A Tesla owner recently told me that although his Tesla has more sheer acceleration, he felt the i3 was much more fun to drive. Just picked up a lease assumption on a solar orange i3 till October, because I plan on getting the i3S around that time. There isnt any other EV with such a good combination of nimbleness (incredible U-turn capability), sure footed acceleration (RWD, I just tested 6.4 Sec 0-60 times in my latest i3 also with nary a wheel chirp). And decent range with fast DCQC capability and a refrigerated battery pack. For 90% of your driving, most people will find a 100mile range fine. (I have gone 148 MI on the HWY with a 97% charge).In real world condtions, if you must do 300 mile trips, etc, the i3 with range extender could still be the car that will get you there faster and with less inconvenience than a 250 mile range EV. All the other 30kwh capacity… Read more »

This is a picture of my 4th i3. It is replacing my Ford Focus EV which is currently in the shop for a stop safely now warning. The Ford is at the end of its lease next week. No way I will get another car without DCQC

It is beautiful. It’s my favorite EV body design, even more s3xy than the Model 3.

Always turn my head when I see one drive by.

And the orange surprisely is a very nice color scheme. Being two tone makes the difference.

“The lithium battery inside the BMW will remain unchanged (33 kWh).” This is very disappointing.

Yup. In light of the fact that Bolt and Tesla 3 break 200+ miles range, car with less range at higher price than both makes no sense. In addition, while 20 HP extra may beat Bolt in acceleration, I doubt it’ll beat even cheaper Tesla 3.

Frankly, I hope BMW doesn’t release this new i3, but continue development for “Tesla 3 killer” version. I doubt they’ll do it, though; “Tesla 3 killer” would also be their gas car killer. Can you imagine what a $40K EV with 250+ miles range that can do 0-60 in 4.99 seconds do to their gas cars?

200 mile range is not really required in most of BMW’s European markets. The i3 is the top selling car in Norway, ICE or otherwise, for example. Even in the US, those of us in the cities of the northeast will find it hard to exceed the 33kw battery’s range in most of our driving. Even the smaller 24kw battery has been more than enough for me in Boston, for example. Different markets need different cars. If I’m spending 35k on a car, I might choose to trade off on other features than a big heavy battery that I don’t need.

No one need more than ,64K ram, remember?

Talk about bad analogies. Are there things you wish you could do in life if only your commute was longer?

Regardless of your commute, why would you want to pay more money for a car with less range and efficiency (compared to Bolt)? If i3 is substantially cheaper, you have a case, and it would be very attractive. But at its current pricing, it’s no good.

About the only thing going for i3 would be REx, but even that is iffy at that price. Volt, while slower and no DCFC, is just as capable in using electric for commute and gas for extended trips. Heck, even Pacifica PH minivan would work for commutes.

I did give serious consideration to the Volt when I was buying my i3. It’s a very good deal. In fact, I do recommend the Bolt quite frequently these days to friends and neighbors, especially those looking for a lower price point than me. I was able to/willing to pay more for the better materials and finish of the BMW over the Chevy, but I don’t think everybody needs to or should. That decision I made had zilch to do with the range or battery capacity. If the battery was twice as big, it would just be getting hauled around idle for the 10 miles I put in every day – and that would just be stupid when living in the inner suburbs of a city. I have the DCFC and ReX to deal with extended road trips.

To add to that, I think the entire EV community lives in a bubble where they believe that car buying decisions are made solely by range/cost. Nobody I know looks at the size of the gas tank when buying a car and for most people, a 120 mile range is close to the don’t care point, especially with a ReX backup. The i3 might have 99 problems but range ain’t one!

> Nobody I know looks at the size of the gas tank when buying a car

Because the range is large and there are gas stations everywhere?

You trying really hard to justify the limited range of the i3, but the greater the range the more flexibility you have and less constraints.

He has the rex, and he could get gas and travel to many more places that you couldn’t in a pure EV.

The REX gives you expansion slots.

I suppose that BMW is beholden to its battery cell provider, Samsung SDI. Until Samsung SDI has its higher-capacity 120 Ah cells ready for mass production, the i3’s battery pack capacity won’t increase. Even if there were space available, any number of 94 Ah battery cells just can’t be added while maintaining the design voltage. You’d need to double the number of 94 Ah cells and connect two 96 cell series-connected string in parallel which would double the capacity to 66 kWh.

That 120 Ah cells are exactly what I had in minds when I read no range increase for now… maybe next model year, who knows?

Don’t be surprised if the i3S version does not make it to the USA. Many times we see this with mfrs , I hope it’s not true but something as simple as ride height can cause issues for vehicle testing and compliance in the us market
Hope I am wrong we need strong performing evs in all markets for them to be successful.
So far only Tesla has figured out the secret sauce. Let’s hope BMW knows this by now.

You maybe correct as BMW have just canned the i5 which was due in 2020.


For its time, the i3 was a good EV at a not so good price. Unless they’re adding double range and add AWD while keeping the same price, I don’t see how BMW stays competitive in late 2017. I guess they could drop the i3 base price by $10K and cut the trim upgrade prices by 50%. That might keep the REX selling in 1H 2018.

i3 sales are not stalling in several regions, just in the US. In Europe sales almost doubled since the last range bump. Certainly more range would make it more usable for more people but personally I would rather see really fast charging (including infrastructure) for the occasional long range trip.

IMHO first reach 40+kWh then charging speed matters more

I think the i3 REX only problem is it’s in the Tesla Model 3 price range. Look at the Toyota Prime, which isn’t. It’s selling well. This beautiful car is just getting hit with Tesla’s BMW 3 series killer.

The other thing that helps Tesla is it doesn’t have BMW’s dealership network, and the horror stories of BMW labor and repair pricing to live down.

The Tesla can acquire Prius owners.
BMW has a harder time capturing the Prius market, because of it’s dealership parts and labor pricing history in the USA.

To be honest though, the BMW i3 Facebook group have some stories of excellent BMW dealership repair standing behind this product.

So, maybe it is a brand new day.

Wow 10mm in height reduction. That definitely makes the difference. Now I really have to buy that car with such great features…

When is the range upgrade coming? The i3 is in desperate need of proper range.

While Renault on record that they have no such plans, I’d much rather see a prduction version of the Zoe Sport concept… Even if it’s a bit tamer than the concept, I’m pretty sure it’ll be a much better proposition…

question is, if it’s sportier, why they didn’t call it i3M ?

Let’s put it this way, since the Bolt/Ampera-e is not available in quantaties up to 2019 in most of the European countries, no one can buy it here.
So nothing to worry for BMW here.