BMW is giving its i3 car a sporty makeover as part of the i3’s mid-model upgrade. The German automaker launched the i3 in 2014 well before peers like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 arrived in the market. However, those looking for a mid-priced car largely kept away, given its short range and high price of around $43,000.
Sporty makeover for the BMW i3s
The sporty version of the electric car, called the BMW i3s, will have bolder bumpers, and the car’s roofline gets a glossy black finish that goes in line with the other changes made to the car. Further, the front bumper has a matte-black U-shaped accent surrounding the horizontal LED turn indicators. The modifications on the outer side give the impression of it being much wider and match the company’s trademark BW iblack Belt Design, notes Engadget.
On the rear of the car, horizontal chrome strips are visible along the tailgate, and the badges are more towards the edges, making the car look wider. Further, BMW gives the option of two new colors: Melbourne Red Metallic and Imperia Blue Metallic. The new version will also be assisted by the Connected+ umbrella, which provides first mile and last mile navigation services and greater integration with the owner’s smart devices.
In addition, the BMW i3s will be lower by about 0.4 inches, as BMW added a new sports suspension. The wheels will come standard at 20 inches in the sporty version. However, compared to the Chevy Bolt or Model 3, the BMW i3 still lags when it comes to range, as both those cars have a lower price tag while also offering a higher range than the i3s. BMW has tried to work on the range limitation by offering a range-extending generator that is capable of turning the vehicle into a hybrid vehicle to run partly on gasoline.
On the infotainment front, the car is equipped with the latest version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system with Apple’s Car Play and a 10.25-inch screen. There will be an optional navigation system. Customers can also choose additional packages, such as cruise control, active park assist, parking sensor and autonomous emergency braking.
More power and new driving mode
Compared to the 170-horsepower electric motor found in the standard i3, the BMW i3s will be powered by a 184-horsepower motor. In fact, the automaker claims that the i3s’ motor speed range, power, and torque at the limit of its performance capabilities are 40% better than the i3.
Further, the sporty version will have a “Sport Driving mode” with “more direct accelerator response and tighter steering characteristics,” meaning the BMW i3s is capable of pulling 0-60 miles per hour in just 6.8 seconds, with a 100 MPH top speed.
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On the charging front, BMW is offering the new “360° ELECTRIC” package. The new TurboCord Electric Vehicle Charger will be available for $500. According to BMW, it is the “smallest, lightest UL listed portable charger,” which is perfect for level 1 charging from any regular 120V outlet and 3.6kW charging from 240V outlets, which is 3x as fast as a standard cable, notes Engadget.
The BMW i3s will debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, while the pricing and availability date will be announced later.