BMW i3 finally picks up a sporty variant

The updated model is called the i3s and marks the first time the automaker added a dedicated sports package to the i3 or i7, though the i8 is already sporty enough. There are two battery options to choose from: a 24kWh that enables a theoretical range between charges of 124 miles and a 30kWh that extends this to 155 miles. As standard, the i3 comes with heated front seats, rear parking sensors, climate contorl, a digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity and automatic lights and wipers.

The new i3s and updated i3 range is expected to share the floor at Frankfurt with the new X7 concept and a significant spread of the company’s latest metal. It featured a short but usable EV range and quirky styling that BMW hoped would resonate with younger vehicle buyers.

For the i3s, the auto maker has boosted its power by 10kW and 20Nm over the standard i3 output (which remains unchanged with the update), for a new figure of 135kW and 270Nm. Other advanced assistance features include frontal crash warning and mitigation, daytime pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control with stop and go capabilities.

New optional features include parking and traffic jam assistance systems, which enable the vehicle to park itself and maintain a set speed in slow-moving traffic respectively. With the optional navigation system, the screen measures 10.25 inches and packs Apple CarPlay.

As before, a buyer will have the option of ordering a 100% all-electric version of the i3 or one equipped with a two-cylinder range extender gas engine. That’s up from 170 hp and 184 pounds-feet in the base model. Top speed is also the same, at a limited 93mph. Torque is also improved by 15 lb. -ft., for a total rating of 199 lb. -ft., all of which is available instantly and with no emissions. 60 miles per hour arrives in 6.8 seconds, and it’ll top 100 miles per hour given enough room.

Automotive News has reported that a bigger battery with significantly longer range – close to 200 miles – will be available on the i3 by the end of the 2018.

Over 80% of the interior materials are either renewable or recycled, according to BMW.

Starting at £34,070 for the entry i3 EV and rising to £40,125 for the i3s ReX it is not the cheapest way to get into electric motoring, but BMW is banking on their technology and calibration expertise to rationalise the high asking price. Meanwhile, the 360-degree Electric feature offers an updated charging capable and a faster home charger, at 7.2 kW.

BMW has also developed a new charging cable that, working with a new version of the BMW i wall-mounted charger, can top up either car’s charge by as much as 180km in three hours, five times faster than the old standard cable.

In addition to the extra track width, the exterior of the i3 gets a subtle makeover with a number of new design elements that help highlight the BMW’s unique character. Pricing for the i3s will be announced at a later date.

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