New tech and a performance-oriented model keeps things fresh

The BMW i3 was introduced in 2013 and was the company’s first zero emissions, mass-produced vehicle. Part of BMW’s then-new sub-brand, BMW i, which also includes the i8 sports car, the i3 was also the first volume production vehicle to feature carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP). A five-door hatchback with a 125-kW electric motor, the i3 is available optionally with a range-extending, two-cylinder engine and a small fuel tank. The city car has had great success on the market, ranking third among EVs sold globally from 2014 to 2016. Sales reached 50,000 units in 2016 and surpassed 70,000 examples in 2017, when the i3 became the world’s third best selling electric car. For 2018, BMW rolled out a significant upgrade that adds new styling features and a revised powertrain.

Received with great enthusiasm and praised for its premium appointments — in contrast to many small EVs being rather mundane in this regard — the i3 won several awards in its first year on the market. On the flipside, the German firm received its fair share of criticism for the car’s bumpy ride, high price, and limited practicality. Did BMW fix some of the EV’s issues with this mid-cycle facelift? Join me in the review below to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i3.

Exterior

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BMW made a few revision that set the facelifted model apart from the original i3.

As you’d expect from a facelift, the i3’s design didn’t change all that much. The overall shape, size, and styling remained familiar, but BMW made a few revision that set the facelifted model apart from the original i3.

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2015 BMW i3 High Resolution Exterior
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2018 BMW i3 Exterior High Resolution
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2015 BMW i3 High Resolution Exterior
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New BMW i3 Old BMW i3

Up front, the bumper is the first new element that catches the eye. While the previous model had a body-colored bumper with black trim on the lower section and around the foglamps, the new bumper is almost entirely black. BMW also redesigned the foglamps, which are now thin and wide instead of round. These changes give the i3 a slightly sportier look, a feat that’s further enhanced by the winglets fitted on the i3s, which is supposed to have a more aggressive stance.

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When viewed from the side, the revised i3 is mostly the same, but the black wheel arch borders add a contrasting touch.

Around back, there aren’t many modifications to talk about, but BMW did add a chrome strip that runs on the entire width of the tailgate. Below, there are minor changes to the bumper, including two dents into the lower apron that seemingly simulate cutouts for the exhaust pipes you’d normally see on a gasoline model.

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When viewed from the side, the revised i3 is mostly the same, but the black wheel arch borders add a contrasting touch when paired with bright and light body colors. BMW also lowered the ride height by 0.4 inches, but this isn’t exactly noticeable. Finally, the i3 gained a new set of 20-inch light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design. Nearly an inch wider than the outgoing wheels, they can be ordered in either Jet Black or a two-tone, black and chrome finish.

Exterior Dimensions

BMW i3 BMW i3 S
Wheelbase (Inches) 101.18 101.18
Length (Inches) 157.91 157.71
Width (Inches) 69.88 70.51
Height (Inches) 62.91 62.59

Interior

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The new BMW i3s gets special model lettering on the front floor mats as standard.

Not surprisingly, the interior of the updated i3 boasts no changes in terms of layout and design. This isn’t an issue though, as the simple and clean configuration combined with the modern, sustainable materials provide a timeless look that should remain fresh for many years to come.

As before, BMW offers four equipment lines, which are available for both the regular i3 and the new i3s model. These trims also carry over unchanged, save for the Lodge, which includes a new covering for the seat surfaces in Solaric Brown that combines natural leather tanned using an olive leaf extract with a wool-based textile material. There’s also a new blue seat belt option. The new BMW i3s gets special model lettering on the front floor mats as standard.

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2015 BMW i3 High Resolution Interior
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New BMW i3 Old BMW i3
While the layout is identical to the first edition, BMW upgraded some features, including the iDrive operating system.

As a reminder, the i3 is pretty hip when it comes to sustainabl materials, using recycled plastic, renewable raw materials, natural fibres and open-pored, unbleached eucalyptus wood. Over 80 percent of the surfaces visible to the passengers are made from recycled materials or renewable resources, a trend that hopefully will catch on with other automakers too.

But while the layout is identical to the first edition, BMW upgraded some features, including the iDrive operating system behind the infotainment display. What’s new you ask? Well, the display now measures 10.25 inches and has an increased resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixles. The main menu was also rearranged to form horizontal tiles with a live mode, while the voice recognition system has been further optimized. Apple CarPlay has been added to the options list.

Other features include digital On-Street Parking Information, which can be used alongside Real Time Traffic Information to provide info about public charging stations, parking, and a range map. Regular, automatic updates of the navigation data are now also provided “over the air” using a mobile network connection.

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2018 BMW i3 Interior High Resolution
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The display now measures 10.25 inches and has an increased resolution.

A package of new services was also introduced as the BMW Connected+, which enables a highly personalized and more straightforward display of information inside the car. Digital services include intelligent route planning, with stop-offs at charging stations or petrol stations, sharing of the car’s current location via SMS and live link, personalized display of relevant in-car information, seamless transfer of route instructions to the customer’s smartphone or smartwatch, and direct syncing of contacts and addresses to the navigation system.

More news comes from the driver assistance systems department, with new options on the table. The i3 now features Parking Assistant and Traffic Jam Assistant, which not only maintains a safe distance to the car in front in heavy traffic at up to 37 mph, but also keeps the car in lane. Driving Assistant Plus, also available as an option, incorporates Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, Speed Limit Info, Proactive Driving Assistant, and Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function.

Drivetrain

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The synchronous electric motor that generates a maximum output of 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

The standard i3 gets its juice from a synchronous electric motor that generates a maximum output of 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Available instantly from a standstill, as is usual with electric motors, all that oomph pushes the i3 from 0 to 62 mph in 7.3 seconds. Top speed is limited to 93 mph, which might seem slow compared to gasoline and diesel cars, but it’s more than enough for city duty and even highway cruising.

BMW says that the high-voltage, lithium-ion battery, which is located in the floor, provides a range of up to 186 miles on the European NEDC cycle and up to 158 miles as per the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). However, the company says that a range of around 124 miles in everyday driving conditions is more likely.

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Output increases to 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet with the performance i3s model.

Moving over to the new i3s, output increases to 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet, meaning you benefit from an extra 14 horses and 15 pound-feet with this model. Where does it come from? According to BMW, the i3s has a modified motor control and taper roller bearing that further optimize power delivery at higher rpm. As a result, the i3s is almost a half-second quicker to 62 mph, needing 6.9 clicks to hit the benchmark. Top speed is significantly higher too at 99 mph. Mileage, on the other hand, drops to 174 and 152 miles on the NEDC and WLTP cycle, respectively, but the everyday driving conditions estimate remains the same at 124 miles.

Both the i3 and i3s can be upgraded with a range-extender in the form of a two-cylinder gasoline engine. Rated at 38 horsepower, it drives a generator that produces power while driving to maintain a constant level of charge in the high-voltage battery. This extends the car’s range in everyday use by 93 miles, bringing it up to a maximum of 205 miles. So while the pure electric Bimmer is inferior to competitors like the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt, the range extender puts it on par with the best EVs available in the compact market.

Both the i3 and i3s can be upgraded with a range-extender in the form of a two-cylinder gasoline engine.

On top of these gains, the new i3 also benefits from a range of products and services that help make mobility a more convenient experience. The package includes an optimized charging cable with a temperature sensor, and the BMW i Wallbox. The latter can supply 11 kW of power to charge the battery for around 112 miles of range in under three hours, which is five times quicker than the standard cable.

The new i Wallbox Connect also extends the functionality of the Digital Charging Service to provide intelligent charging for optimal cost efficiency, enabling customers to make best use of self-generated solar energy. In addition, it is also possible to control the charging process using a smartphone app and manage usage by means of an access card, which provides unrestricted access to the world’s largest network of public charging stations.

BMW i3 BMW i3 S
Motor technology BMW eDrive technology:
hybrid synchronous electric motor with integrated power
electronics, charging unit and generator function for energy recuperation
BMW eDrive technology:
hybrid synchronous electric motor with integrated power
electronics, charging unit and generator function for energy recuperation
Horsepower 170 HP @ 4,800 RPM 184 HP @ 4,800 RPM
Torque 184 LB-FT 199 LB-FT
High-voltage battery
Battery capacity Ah 94 94
Power output (gross / net) kWh 33.2 / 27.2 33.2 / 27.2
Storage technology Lithium-ion Lithium-ion
Acceleration 0–100 km/h 7.3 seconds 6.9 seconds
Top Speed 150 km/h (93 mph) 160 km/h (99 mph)
Range in everyday driving km up to 200 (124 miles) 280 (174 miles)

Prices

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BMW has yet to announce U.S. pricing, but we do have U.K. stickers for comparison. The base model retails from £34,070, which accounts for a £1,720 increase (or around 5.5 percent) over the outgoing model. Opt for the Range Extender and the sticker increases to £37,220. The more powerful i3s costs £36,975 without the gas engine and £40,125 with the optional extender. These prices are obviously before government incentives, which are at around £4,500 in the U.K., decreasing the i3’s base sticker to less than £30K.

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Based on the premium added for the British market, it’s safe to assume that U.S. pricing for the base i3 will increase from $44,450 to around $46,900. Expect the i3s to cost around $51,000 before options. Of course, the i3 will be eligible to government rebates of up to $7,500.

UK Prices

Model Price
BMW i3 £34,070
BMW i3 Range Extender £37,220
BMW i3s £36,975
BMW i3s Range Extender £40,125

Competition

Chevrolet Bolt

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Brand-new for the 2017 model year, the Bolt is essentially Chevrolet’s first mass-produced electric car. The Bolt joins the Volt in the company’s green car lineup, but whereas the Volt also uses a gas engine, the Bolt works on electricity alone. In Europe, the Bolt is sold as the Opel Ampera-e. Sporting a modern exterior design that draws cues from Chevrolet’s current design language for conventional cars, the Bolt is surprisingly fancy on the inside. While it’s not made from recycled and sustainable materials, it feels modern and more upscale than you’d expect from a Chevy. The hatchback is also surprisingly high-tech on the surface, but the looks are backed by an impressive list of features, including Bluetooth connectivity, personalized settings, MyChevrolet App, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, just to name a few.

The drivetrain is downright impressive, with the 200-horsepower and 266-pound-feet electric motor boasting an estimated range of 238 miles. Granted, the Bolt is likely to deliver up to 210 miles in everyday driving conditions, but that’s still impressive and significantly more than what you get from an i3 without the range extender. Charging from empty to full takes 9.5 hours. Performance-wise, the Bolt sits atop the i3 with a 0-to-60 mph time of "less than seven seconds," but top speed isn’t all that great at 91 mph. Pricing starts from $37,495 before incentives. That’s more than the i3, but you get more power and more mileage for the buck.

Read our full reviews of the Chevrolet Bolt and Opel Ampera-e.

Tesla Model 3

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2018 Tesla Model 3 Exterior High Resolution
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While the Model S and Model X are far from affordable for the average Joe, Tesla has always stated that the profit from them will be used toward developing cheaper, sub-$40,000 models. The Model 3 is one of them. Sure, it’s not a hatchback and it’s actually about as big as the BMW 3 Series, but the Model 3 is Tesla’s smallest and most affordabl car yet. And once all drivetrains are launched, it will be one of the most potent choices too. For now, we do know that the standard model has a 50 kWh battery that provides a range of up to 220 miles. Sprinting from 0 to 60 mph takes 5.6 seconds, while top speed is rated at 130 mph.

All told, the Model 3 is better than the i3 in just about any department. But wait, go with the Long Range update and the range jumps to 310 miles, while the 0-to-60 mph sprints drops to only 5.1 seconds. Top speed increases to 140 mph. Making things that much more impressive, Tesla’s Supercharger needs only 30 minutes to give the standard model 130 miles of range and the Long Range version no less than 170 miles of range. Pricing starts from $35,000, just like Elon Musk promised, but only as long as you don’t want any other options or a color that’s not black. Opt for the longer range battery, a few fancy options, and the Autopilot function, and the Model 3 costs more than $50K.

Read our full review of the Tesla Model 3.

Conclusion

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It’s safe to say that the i3’s mid-cycle facelift is quite comprehensive. Granted, BMW didn’t change much styling-wise, but this is what you usually get with a facelfit. Automakers rarely go wild in this department and I really think that BMW made just enough changes inside and out. Of course, the big news is all about technology and drivetrain. The i3 is now the most connected electric car you can buy and the number of convenience features you have access to is quite impressive. But only as long as you’re willing to pay for the options. The i3s is also a great addition, but to be honest, this Bimmer still lags behind the competition in terms of output, performance, and mileage. And given that it’s just as expensive as its rivals, it wouldn’t be my first choice. And that premium BMW brags about isn’t as fancy as the German firm wants us to believe. But hey, if you’re crazy about Bimmer, the i3 is a unique car that gets the job done.

  • Leave it
    • * Model 3 and Bolt have better performance and mileage
    • * A bit too expensive

Press release

The BMW i3 shows the way ahead to a new era of mobility. It is recognised the world over as a symbol of driving pleasure, sustainability and intelligent connectivity in the urban traffic environment, which is why it has become the best-selling electric car in the premium compact segment. The recipe for success of the BMW i3 has now been further improved, thanks not just to refreshing styling accents, cutting-edge equipment features and new digital services, but also to the addition of a new model variant. For making its debut alongside the new edition of the first ever premium car to be conceived from the outset for all-electric mobility is the BMW i3s. With a higher output, model-specific chassis technology, noticeably more dynamic driving qualities and design features all of its own, it generates a particularly intense blend of the unrivalled sporty driving pleasure associated with electric cars from the BMW Group. By offering a premium-quality, all-electric driving experience, meaning zero local emissions, together with a whole new level of connectivity technology, both models represent the future of urban mobility.

The BMW i3 has reigned as the top-selling premium electric car in its class since 2014, not just in Europe but worldwide too. And in Germany, it has actually been topping the new vehicle registration statistics for the electric car segment as a whole, also since 2014. It’s not just the visionary electric vehicles and inspirational design that help to make BMW i so popular, but also its innovative mobility solutions and the revolutionary new form of premium character, with sustainability as a key defining element. By offering such products while also adopting an all-embracing approach that takes into account the complete lifecycle – from raw material production, through the manufacture and operation of the vehicles to their later recycling – the BMW i brand has established itself as a pioneer for forward-thinking mobility.

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BMW eDrive electric motor in two output levels, high-voltage battery with large capacity of 94 Ah/33 kWh, optional range extender engine.

The driving experience in the BMW i models has played no small part in the growing appeal and popularity of electric mobility. Following systematic refinement, the BMW eDrive technology aboard the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s enables drivers to enjoy locally emission-free mobility with wonderfully instantaneous power delivery, efficient use of energy and an optimised range for a level of everyday practicality that even extends beyond the demands of purely urban travel. Both models draw their energy from the lithium-ion high-voltage battery developed by the BMW Group with a capacity of 94 ampere hours (Ah) or 33 kilowatt hours (kWh). A range extender engine can be ordered as an option for both the new BMW i3 and the new BMW i3s.

The new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s will celebrate their world premieres at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main in September 2017. The global market launch will begin in November 2017.

Design: sporty look.

The new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s have a remarkably dynamic character by premium compact electric car standards, and a number of design tweaks have been included to express this to particularly striking effect in their visual appearance too. The unmistakable, avant-garde exterior styling has already picked up the iF gold award for product design and the World Car Design of the Year award along with other accolades, and it has now been enhanced by a number of deft design touches that clearly convey the sporty and stirring driving experience on offer.

The trademark BMW i Black Belt running from the bonnet over the roof to the car’s rear end is now complemented by A-pillars and roof lines that also sport a black finish. The range of paint finishes for the remaining body elements has been extended to include Melbourne Red metallic and Imperial Blue metallic. Besides these two new additions, customers can also choose from the non-metallic shades Capparis White and Fluid Black as well as Protonic Blue metallic and Mineral Grey metallic.

The restyling of the front and rear aprons places particular emphasis on the car’s width, which has the effect of signalling just how sporty both models are to drive and how sure their handling is. A chrome-design trim strip running across the full width of the rear and the positioning of the model and eDrive badges on the outer edges of the boot lid serves to reinforce this impression.

The new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s come equipped with all-LED headlights as standard, which employ LED bulb units for dipped beam and high beam as well as the daytime running lights. The new turn signal indicators also feature LED technology and are integrated into the front apron in the form of horizontal strips. This means that LEDs are now used for all lighting functions at the front of the vehicle too, as was already the case with the glass-covered rear light assemblies.

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The new BMW i3: new styling accents for a sense of sporty elegance.

The thoughtful evolution of the exterior design not only helps to bring the sporting credentials of the new BMW i3 more to the fore, but highlights its sophisticated elegance too. The front bumper is completely painted in the body colour and has a black U-shaped surround that reinforces the car’s presence when viewed from the front. Moving round to the rear end, the powerfully moulded contours and the contrast in colour between the black surround and the body-coloured inlay again create an energetic and expressive appearance.

The new silver-coloured roof line accent for the new BMW i3 adds a further touch of elegance and dynamism. It widens towards the rear, thereby accentuating the stream flow, as the distinctive outline of the side windows is known.

The new BMW i3s: a thoroughly dynamic performer.

The new BMW i3s incorporates a number of design elements all of its own that underscore its particularly dynamic character. Both the front and rear aprons are notable for their model-specific, powerfully shaped contours. At the front, the bumper inlay as well as the U-shaped surround encircling it have a black finish. The front apron’s side sections are bordered on their lower edge by accent strips in BMW i Blue or Frozen Grey that further emphasise the width of the car. The accent in the closed BMW kidney grille is also painted in high-gloss black on the BMW i3s to give the grille a larger and more prominent appearance. The rear apron of the new BMW i3s is likewise composed of individually styled contours, while the black surround frames an extra-wide, body-coloured inlay. On the new BMW i3s, the roof line accent also sports the same high-gloss black finish as the A-pillars.

The new BMW i3s comes equipped as standard with sports suspension that includes a 10-millimetre drop in ride height. The additional 40 millimetres of track width compared to the BMW i3 is given added impact by the black wheel arch borders. The new BMW i3s is available with exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design that are 20 millimetres wider than the previously available versions. They can be ordered in the Bicolour and Jet Black colour variants.

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Interior: great sense of roominess, sustainable materials.

Like the exterior design, the interior styling of the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s is rooted in the novel LifeDrive vehicle architecture. The carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell has a wonderfully spacious feel about it and is dominated by a sense of lightness. The design principle of the two four-seater models means there is no need for either fixed B-pillars or a transmission tunnel. Doors that open in opposite directions allow the occupants to get in and out with the greatest of ease.

The Loft, Lodge and Suite equipment lines are available for the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s as alternatives to the standard Atelier version. The Lodge interior design option includes a new covering for the seat surfaces in Solaric Brown that combines natural leather tanned using an olive leaf extract with a wool-based textile material. The fact that the BMW i3 and BMW i3s also count sustainability among their premium characteristics shines through in the rest of the materials selected for them too, including recycled plastics, renewable raw materials, natural fibres and open-pored, unbleached eucalyptus wood. Over 80 percent of the surfaces visible to the passengers are made from recycled materials or renewable resources. The new blue seat belt option provides a splash of colour in the interior in typical brand style. The BMW i3s supplements all this with special model lettering on the front floor mats as standard.

Emission-free fun at the wheel: a more intense experience than ever, now with two power options.

The synchronous electric motor powering the new BMW i3 generates a maximum output of 125 kW/170 hp. Its peak torque is 250 Nm (184 lb-ft), all of which is available instantly from a standstill, as is usual with electric motors. This means that stepping on the accelerator pedal immediately unleashes a thrilling burst of speed. The motor smoothly delivers the kind of performance that drivers expect from a BMW via a single-speed automatic transmission, with continuous power delivery that builds up the car’s tempo in a characteristically dynamic fashion. 0-100 km/h (62 mph) is achieved by the new BMW i3 in 7.3 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 150 km/h (93 mph).

Located low in the vehicle floor, the lithium-ion high-voltage battery provides a range of 290 to 300 kilometres (180-186 miles)* based on the NEDC cycle, 235 to 255 kilometres (146 to 158 miles)** as per WLTP and up to 200 kilometres (124 miles)*** in everyday use. The combined electric power consumption of the new BMW i3 on the NEDC cycle varies between 13.6 and 13.1 kWh for every 100 kilometres*.

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Bringing outstanding driving dynamics to the electric vehicle segment, with instantaneous torque, superb traction and precisely controllable drifts.

The agile handling characteristics of the BMW i3 are improved still further by the optimised Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. This comprehensively revised, faster responding traction control system guarantees confident handling under all driving conditions. The BMW i3 now features a globally unique form of wheel speed limiting that ensures increased directional stability, both under dynamic acceleration and on the overrun with strong regenerative braking. Traction during pull-away on snow and wet roads has also been noticeably improved. DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) mode now boosts agility at higher speeds and during sporty cornering, even allowing mild and safely controllable drifts when grip levels are reduced.

The new BMW i3s provides an even sportier interpretation of silent mobility with zero local emissions and features a high-performance 135 kW/184 hp electric motor that generates peak torque of 270 Nm (199 lb-ft). Its updated drive system includes modified motor control and specific taper roller bearings, which have been utilised to further optimise power delivery and the performance curve at higher rpm. At the limits of the motor speed range, the power and torque of the further developed drive system represent an improvement of up to 40% for the BMW i3.

What’s more, the new BMW i3s boasts sports suspension with specially developed springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. Drivers can also select SPORT mode using the Driving Experience Control switch. This initiates more direct accelerator response and tighter steering characteristics to further accentuate the car’s sporting edge.

Just 6.9 seconds is enough to see the new BMW i3s burst past 100 km/h (62 mph) on its way to a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph). It returns a combined electric power consumption of 14.3 kWh per 100 kilometres* on the NEDC cycle. Its electric range runs to 280 kilometres (174 miles)* based on the NEDC cycle, 235 to 245 kilometres (146 to 152 miles)** as per WLTP and up to 200 kilometres (124 miles)*** in everyday use.

A 28 kW/38 hp two-cylinder range extender petrol engine is available as an option for both the new BMW i3 and the new BMW i3s. The engine drives a generator that produces power as required while driving to maintain a constant level of charge in the high-voltage battery. This extends the car’s overall range in everyday use by 150 kilometres (93 miles), increasing it from around 180 kilometres (112 miles) to a maximum of 330 kilometres (205 miles)***. The all-electric range of the new BMW i3 with range extender is 225 to 235 kilometres (140 – 146 miles)* as per NEDC and 190 to 200 kilometres (118 – 124 miles)** as per WLTP. The corresponding figures for the new BMW i3s with range extender come in at 220 kilometres (137 miles)* on the NEDC and 185 to 195 kilometres (115 to 121 miles)** on the WLTP cycle.

On the NEDC cycle, the new BMW i3 with range extender returns combined consumption figures per 100 kilometres of 11.9 to 11.5 kWh of electric power and 0.6 litres of fuel (fuel consumption of 470.8 mpg imp; CO2 emissions: 14 –13 g/km)*. On the same combined NEDC cycle, the new BMW i3s with range extender consumes 12.5 kWh of electric power per 100 kilometres and 0.7 litres of fuel (fuel consumption of 403.5 mpg imp; CO2 emissions: 14 g/km)*.

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Extensive range of driver assistance systems: Parking Assistant and Traffic Jam Assistant take over control of steering.

The driver assistance systems available for the new BMW i3 and BMW i3s ease the driver’s workload and provide support in various traffic situations, as well as helping with longitudinal and lateral vehicle control. The optional Parking Assistance package includes Park Distance Control, a reversing camera and the Parking Assistant. Once a suitable parking space parallel to the road has been selected, the Parking Assistant takes control of acceleration, braking, gear selection and steering.

Driving Assistant Plus, also available as an option, incorporates Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, Speed Limit Info, Proactive Driving Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, and the Traffic Jam assistant, which not only maintains a safe distance to the car in front in stop-start traffic at up to 60 km/h (37 mph), but also keeps the car in lane. The system takes its cues from lane markings, the width of the road and vehicles travelling ahead.

Further developed iDrive system, BMW i ConnectedDrive with navigation features and On-Street Parking Information specially developed for electric mobility.

Both the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s come with an updated version of the iDrive operating system, which provides an intuitive interface for controlling numerous vehicle, infotainment, communications and navigation functions. In vehicles equipped with the Navigation system Professional, the Control Display has a diagonal of 10.25 inches and an increased resolution of 1,440 × 540 pixels. The main menu is also presented in the form of horizontally arranged tiles with a live mode. The voice recognition system has also been further optimised. With the aid of Natural Language Understanding, spoken instructions can now be executed more quickly and precisely, e.g. when searching for music and phone numbers or dictating e-mails and SMS messages. New to the options list is Apple CarPlay preparation. This allows additional smartphone apps to be integrated seamlessly with the vehicle’s operating system.

The further expanded BMW i ConnectedDrive offering – unmatched by any rival – ensures intelligent connectivity through services specially tailored to electric mobility. The digital On-Street Parking Information search service, now available for the first time in the BMW i3, can also be used alongside the Real Time Traffic Information system if the Navigation system Professional is specified. Public charging stations and information about their availability can also be displayed on the navigation system’s map. When route guidance is activated, data about the route is also used to calculate the range shown in the instrument cluster as accurately as possible. The range map provides a visual representation of the current operating radius. It is also possible to display the different ranges achievable in each of the Driving Experience Control modes. BMW i-specific navigation features also include intermodal route guidance. This helps users to quickly and efficiently reach their destination by factoring in local public transport timetables and connections. Regular, automatic updates of the navigation data are now also provided “over the air” in the BMW i3, using a mobile network connection.

A package of new services were introduced in July 2017 under the BMW Connected+ banner which enable a highly personalised and more straightforward display of information inside the car. All of the digital services related to BMW Connected and BMW Connected+ will be available in the BMW i3 and BMW i3s. These span intelligent route planning, including stop-offs at charging stations or petrol stations (Send my Routes to Car), sharing of the car’s current location via SMS and live link (Share Live Trip Status), personalised display of relevant in-car information (BMW Onboard), seamless transfer of route instructions to the customer’s smartphone or smartwatch once the car is parked (Navigate Door-to-Door) and direct syncing of contacts and addresses to the navigation system (My Destinations).

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BMW Digital Charging Service enables intelligent charging.

The BMW Digital Charging Service brings customers the future of charging, today. BMW ConnectedDrive and the BMW ConnectedDrive Portal turn charging into a digital experience. As a result, the BMW i3 and BMW i3s are integrated perfectly into the customer’s smart ecosystem. This allows BMW customers to optimise charging costs, make best use of self-generated solar energy for charging and even earn money through integration into the smart grid. The service’s ease of use – from a smartphone via BMW Connected or from PCs and tablets via the BMW ConnectedDrive Portal – also facilitates fully transparent, sustainable use of renewable energy. With the introduction of its unique BMW Digital Charging Service, BMW becomes the world’s first carmaker to integrate electric mobility with its customers’ digital worlds.

360° ELECTRIC: new charging cable, BMW i Wallbox Connect.

360° ELECTRIC is a range of products and services that help make electric mobility a convenient, everyday experience. The functionality of the standard charging cable supplied with the new BMW i3s has been optimised and includes a temperature sensor. Charging at home is extremely user-friendly thanks to the BMW i Wallbox which, in its most recent incarnation, can supply 11 kW of power to charge the high-voltage battery. This allows enough energy for an electric range of around 180 kilometres (112 miles) to be transferred in under three hours – five times quicker than with the standard charging cable. The new BMW i Wallbox Connect also extends the functionality of the globally unique Digital Charging Service to provide intelligent charging for optimal cost efficiency, and allows customers to make best use of self-generated solar energy. In addition, it is also possible to control the charging process using a smartphone app and manage usage by means of an access card. Drivers with a registered ChargeNow card have unrestricted access to the world’s largest network of public charging stations.

2018 BMW i3 Exterior High Resolution
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BMW i pioneers electric driving pleasure with integrated sustainability concept and superior eDrive technology.

BMW i is blazing a trail when it comes to shaping the future of sustainable personal mobility. Its integrated concept focuses on responsible use of resources and incorporates material selection and innovative mobility services alongside locally emission-free driving. The BMW i3 is just as serious about the fun of driving, turning even a trip around town into an electrifying experience. The inspirational design of the BMW i3 expresses a new style, while the instantaneous power from the drive system provides an inspiring showcase for the dawn of a new era in mobility.

This car’s architecture was designed from the ground up with electric mobility in mind. And its BMW eDrive technology boasts power delivery and efficiency unrivalled by any other manufacturer. All of which makes the BMW i3 a proposition as forward-looking as it is attractive. Combining the latest technological innovations with an evolutionary development of the car’s design and the expansion of the model range has provided additional impetus for BMW’s now familiar take on premium electric mobility. The character profiles of the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s are focused more keenly than ever on driving pleasure, which gives them all the ingredients required to strengthen their leading position and write the next chapter in the BMW i success story.

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