BMW has launched a new i3, with refreshed styling, updated kit, and a new model joining the line-up – the i3s. The REX range extender model can be ordered on both variants, or each can be bought as zero-tailpipe emission pure-EV.
Both the standard BMW i3 and i3s use the latest 94Ah battery pack launched last summer, providing 33kWh of capacity for one of the longest mass-market electric ranges available in the UK. However, the new i3s has more power, a tweaked chassis, improved handling, and sportier design.
The new i3 uses the same 170hp – 125 kW – electric motor as currently available, providing 250 Nm of torque and allowing for a 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds. Top speed is limited to 93mph, and the quoted range on a single charge is 180-186 miles on the NEDC cycle.
The new i3s has a 184hp – 135 kW – electric motor, providing 270Nm of torque for a little more performance. The upgraded motor drops the 0-62mpg time to 6.9 seconds, and ups the top speed to 99mph. NEDC range drops to 174 miles, because of a slight reduction in efficiency. The i3 will officially use 13.1 and 13.6kWh per 100km (62 miles), while the i3s uses 14.3kWh.
The i3s also has a ‘Sport’ mode which gives the driver sharper throttle and steering response, plus the model sits 10mm lower with a 40mm wider track, reducing the centre of gravity and improving handling. A sport styling package is also included, with 20-inch wheels that are 20mm wider than the i3 too, providing more grip.
The REX uses a 38p two-cylinder petrol engine as an on-board generator, extending the car’s overall range by 93 miles for both models. CO2 emissions are 13-14 g/km for the i3, repending on specification, and 15 g/km for the i3s.
Equipment includes standard LED headlights and the BMW Professional navigation system as part of an updated iDrive system. The paint palette has been expanded to include metallic red and blue hues too. Apple CarPlay is installed too, and a sharper resolution screen has been fitted.
The new i3 starts from £34,070, with i3 REX available from £37,220. The i3s range begins from £36,975, and i3s REX from £40,125. None of those figures include the UK Government’s Plug-in Car Grant, as the models haven’t been accredited as of yet.
There are no problems expected with approval, as all four variants conform to the OLEV Category 1 criteria. Therefore, take £4,500 off each of the prices above for a UK OTR, meaning the new range will start from £29,570. This represents a price increase of around £1,000 over the out-going model.
Both new models will be presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month for their world premiers, with orders able to be placed from this month. Global roll-out begins in November, with full UK specifications and delivery dates announced closer to launch.