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BMW debuts updated i3 and sporty new i3s


Debuting back in 2014 as one of its first i electric vehicles, BMW has now given its smallest model, the i3, a mid-life revision with the biggest news being the addition of a sporty s model.


Aesthetically, the standard i3 now incorporates styling element seemingly derived from the 5-series in the form of new LED headlights, a redesigned front bumper with integrated LED indicators and a black U-shaped surround, a new black finish for the roof and A-pillar, and a choice of two new colours; Melbourne Red Metallic and Imperial Blue Metallic.

Inside, the interior remains mostly unchanged with the only differences being new colours and trim options, as well as BMW's latest 10.2-inch iDrive infotainment display with 1 440 x 540 pixel resolution, optional Professional Navigation and Apple CarPlay.

New driver assistance systems meanwhile, either standard or optional, consists of Parking Assistance with Park Distance Control, Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, and Traffic Jam Assist.

Carried over from the previous model, the standard i3 again comes powered by a 33 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that develops 125 kW and 250 Nm, allowing it to complete the 0-100 km/h dash in 7.3 seconds, and reach a limited top speed of 150 km/h. 

BMW claims an all-electric range of 290-300 km on the European NEDC cycle and up to 200 km in everyday use, although the addition of the optional 28 kW range extender two-cylinder petrol engine ups the former to 330 km.


First spied testing in February this year, the performance orientated i3s adopts the same revised front end as its sibling, but further benefits from 40 mm gain in track width, a 10 mm drop in overall ride height, bespoke 20-inch double spoke Jet Black alloy wheels and gloss black finishes on the bumper, roof and A-pillar.

Claimed to put an emphasis on sportiness, the s also receives specially developed springs and dampers, as well as a Sport mode that quickens throttle response.

While it gets the same electric motor as the normal i3, the s features a fettled motor control unit and roller bearings to produce 135 kW and 270 Nm, allowing it to go from 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds, and on to a top speed of 160 km/h. Claimed range on the NEDC cycle is pegged at 280 km and 200 km everyday.

Both models are expected to make their world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month with market launches due to kick-off in November.

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