BMW’s i3 gets its first mild facelift since its introduction in 2014 plus a new i3s sport model, featuring a higher performance electric drive, sport suspension with 10 mm lower height, and a 40 mm wider track. A restyled front fascia gives both the BMW i3 and i3s a wider appearance. The front apron on the i3s includes aggressive M-like scoops while the rear apron has individually styled contours with black surrounds around a wide, body-colored inlay. Both the i3 and i3s have standard full-LED headlights using LED bulb units for both low and high beams, as well as for daytime running lights. New turn signal indicators also feature LED technology.
The i3s uses a high output 184 horsepower electric motor that generates 199 lb-ft peak torque, 15 greater lb-ft than the standard i3 plus an additional 14 horsepower. BMW also updated the i3s drivetrain to optimize power delivery and the performance curve at higher rpms. At the limits of its motor speed range, power and torque of the enhanced drive system deliver an improvement of up to 40 percent over the standard i3. Driving dynamics and e-Driving abilities are significantly enhanced at higher engine speeds when higher performance and higher torque are more noticeable. In addition to Comfort, Eco Pro, and Eco Pro+ settings, i3s drivers can also choose SPORT mode for a more direct accelerator response and tighter steering
Both the i3 and i3s use the more powerful 33 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery introduced in the 2017 i3, which increased battery pack capacity by more than 50 percent and boosted driving range from 81 miles to 114 miles. without any changes in packaging. An optional REx range extending gasoline engine-generator is available for both the i3 and i3s to extend plug-in battery range to a maximum of about 180 total miles of driving.
The latest version of BMW’s iDrive 6 provides an intuitive interface for controlling infotainment, communications, and navigation in the i3 and i3s. When equipped with Navigation System Professional, the control display has a 10.25-inch screen with increased resolution. Automatic over-the-air updates of navigation data are provided via a mobile network connection. The voice recognition system has improved comprehension through cloud-based speech processing. All BMW Connected and BMW Connected+ services are available. On-Street Parking Information, available for the first time in i3 models, helps locate available parking spaces in many major U.S. cities. The system uses historical and real-time data to determine the likelihood of finding vacant parking and displays this information on a navigation map.
Public charging stations and their availability are also displayed on the navigation system’s map. With Navigation Professional, a boundary representing the maximum range the i3 could travel on its current charge status is displayed. Different ranges in each of the Driving Dynamic Control modes can also be shown.
The Technology and Driving Assistance Package for the i3 and i3s includes Active Driving Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation, and Speed Limit Info. Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information and ConnectedDrive Services are also included within the upgraded Navigation System package. Park Distance Control and Parking Assistance are options.
A BMW TurboCord electric vehicle charger provides charging via a standard 120-volt outlet and can also charge up to three times faster when used with a 240-volt outlet. It is the smallest and lightest UL-listed portable charger available and comes with a 20 ft charging cord.