The updated i3 now features an expanded range with the regular i3 available as a pure-EV or with a range-extending petrol engine, or a more sporting i3s arriving as the first sports model.
Amongst the changes to the new i3 are revised front and rear bumpers to give both variants a wider, more planted look, accompanied by standard LED headlights and new horizontal LED indicators in the front bumper.
Inside the i3’s Lodge interior design theme is standard with wool-based and partial olive leaf-tanned brown leather, with the no cost option of Loft styling, or the more upmarket Suite interior theme adding full natural leather trim. Distinctive i-blue seatbelts are also optional.
BMW's latest-generation ‘iDrive 6’ infotainment has also been added with an improved 10.25-inch high-res display, more natural voice recognition, optional wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity, and a suite of real-time BMW i ConnectedDrive online services specifically for electric vehicles.
Pricing for the 2018 i3 rises slightly, by $600, with the range starting from $68,700 plus on-road costs.
The i3 retains its 125kW/250Nm electric motor and 94 Amp-hour battery (as introduced in 2016) but drops the previous smaller-capacity 60Ah battery version. In its current configuration the i3 has an official 300km range, which BMW signals as up to 200 kilometres of real world range.
The i3S features boosted outputs with 135kW and 270Nm plus a different drive system with modified motor control, and specific taper roller bearings. The i3s can sprint to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds versus 7.3 seconds for the i3.
Upgrading to i3s specification adds $1200 to the price, starting from $69,900 plus on-road costs.
Official consumption figures for the i3 are rated at between 13.1 and 13.6 kWh/100km depending on specification, or 14.3 kWh/100km for the i3S which gives it an official 280km range, but BMW claims the same 200km maximum real world figure.
Both can be optioned with a 28kW 647cc petrol range extender (REx) engine for $6000 which does not directly drive the wheels, but is used to replenish the battery when charge gets low and allows up to 130 kilometres of added range.
The new i3 is configured for both DC fast-charging and home of office three-phase AC charging.
2018 BMW i3 Pricing
i3 REx: $74,700
i3s REx: $75,900
Manufacturer's list price, excluding on-road costs. Overseas model shown.
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