Citing undisclosed sources within the automaker, Welt am Sonntag is reporting that BMW will launch its all-new, longer range BMW i3 sometime in 2017. BMW naturally wasn't available for comment on the German media's revelation.

2017 BMW i3's 33 kWh Battery

2017 BMW i3's 33 kWh Battery

If true, then this would be a Model Year 2018 i3 and we'd likely see it go on sale starting in Europe next Summer.

According to the report, the all-new i3 will featured some heavy reworking on the front and rear of the exterior of the car. Beyond that, an all-new battery pack could have up to 50% more range than the current 300 km maximum (NEDC).

The current all-electric 94 Ah BMW i3 (33 kWh pack) has an EPA-rated range of 114 miles (183 km). That's a substantial improvement over the 81-mile (130 km) range of the original 22 kWh i3.

On paper, a 50% increase over the 114-mile range of today's i3 would put the 2018 Model Year i3 at approximately 171 miles of EPA-rated range. That's still well short of the current Chevrolet Bolt EV (rated at 238 miles), but very useful nonethe less, and another big step in the right direction.

Though just a rumor, our connections suggest that this is indeed what will happen with the i3. "All-new" isn't accurate, but we do believe a refreshed i3 will come out next year with exterior appearance changes and likely some additional range. However, it won't be until at least 2018-2019 before we see the real "all-new" i3 with 200-plus miles of range.

Source: Reuters, hat tip to Robster1979!