A little bit of sport goes a long way.
BMW is keen to give its city-dwelling i3 a bit more flavor, hence the addition of the small-but-significant s to the name. As per usual with BMW, such upgrades are more than just a name and some flashy trim, though the black grille and wheel arches do a surprising amount of good in giving this little car a proper bit of attitude. Under the lights in Frankfurt it catches the eye much quicker than we’d expect compared to the standard i3. (Full BMW i3s launch details/specs here)
But again, there’s more to the i3s than a bit of flash. BMW dropped the height and widened the track, both of which give the already nimble city car a better bite on the road. The car features sport suspension tuning, with a dedicated sport mode to liven things up. The standard 20-inch wheels wear wider rubber while also enhancing the car’s look, though some might feel such large wheels on a small car create an awkward appearance.
Tweaked suspension is nothing without a bit more power, which is why BMW turned up the juice on the i3s. The electric motor generates 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of instant twist, which is good enough to scoot the car to 60 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds. In Sport mode, accelerator and steering responses are sharpened to help drivers cope with the bimmer’s enhanced athleticism.
In normal driving conditions, the i3s can do about 100 miles on a charge. Should drivers require a bit more, am on-board twin-cylinder gasoline engine will fire up to charge the batteries, extending the i3s range to 180 miles. All in all, not bad for a city dweller. Not bad at all.
2018 BMW i3s from the 2017 IAA
Inside the BMW i3s (2017 IAA)