Besides unveiling an updated i3, BMW also announced the newest edition to its all-electric mobility stable in the BMW i3s.
In terms of styling updates, the new i3 line sees the trademark BMW i Black Belt running from the bonnet over the roof to the car’s rear end, now being complemented by A-pillars and roof lines that also sport a black finish.
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 the new 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 i3s comes 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.
Moreover, the new BMW i3s comes equipped as standard with sports suspension that includes a 10-millimetre drop in ride height, compared to the standard i3. 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″ 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.
Upping the ePower ante on the i3s
The synchronous electric motor powering the new BMW i3 generates a maximum output of 125 kW. Its peak torque is 250 Nm, 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 is achieved by the new BMW i3 in 7.3 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 150 km/h.
If this is not enough power for you, opt for the new BMW i3s that provides an even sportier interpretation of silent mobility with zero local emissions, featuring a high-performance 135 kW electric motor that generates peak torque of 270 Nm. 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 on its way to a top speed of 160 km/h. It returns a combined electric power consumption of 14.3 kWh per 100 kilometres on the NEDC cycle and its electric range runs to 280 kilometres based on the NEDC cycle.
The i3s draws its energy from a 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 the new BMW i3s.
Both the refreshed 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″ and an increased resolution of 1,440 × 540 pixels.
The new BMW i3s will celebrate its world premiere (along with the revised i3) at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt in September 2017. The global market launch will begin in November 2017, according to BMW.
In other motoring related news, Polestar, Volvo Cars’ performance brand, recently unveiled the 2018 Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar, complete with additional aerodynamic components made from lightweight carbon fibre which increase downforce by 30% for improved performance and handling.