WORLD PREMIERE: The First-Ever BMW i3S — An even sportier EV

BMW i, News | August 28th, 2017 by 14
BMW i3 LCI Facelift 5 830x553

Ever since the debut of the BMW i3 back in 2014, fans have been hoping for something a bit sportier. After driving the i3, you’ll …

Ever since the debut of the BMW i3 back in 2014, fans have been hoping for something a bit sportier. After driving the i3, you’ll notice that it’s far more entertaining to drive than you might have previously though. Judging from its looks, you might assume that the i3 is a bland EV. But once behind the wheel, enthusiasts started noticing its potential. Thanks to its incredibly low curb weight, low center of gravity, carbon fiber tub and a peppy electric motor, the BMW i3 is actually quite fun to drive. So what if BMW gave it sportier suspension and more power? You’d get the BMW i3S.

The first-ever BMW i3S is exactly as you’d imagine it to be. It’s a BMW i3 with some added sportiness. Though, don’t mistake it for a proper sports car. It’s just a standard i3 with some liveliness injected into it.

2018 BMW I3s photos 24 830x553

2018 BMW I3s photos 23 830x553

From the outside, it’s not that much different than the newly facelifted BMW i3. It features all of the same new design cues, shapes and trim pieces that the standard facelifted i3 gets. To distinguish it, though, those trim pieces and design cues are black, for i3S duty. This gives it a sportier, more aggressive look. To be honest, though, it’s not much different. Admittedly, that’s probably a good thing, because it’s not likely that the i3 would actually look good with some seriously sporty kit.

What is noticeable from the outside is the BMW i3S’ wider wheel track. Widened by 40 mm, the BMW i3S features a considerably wider track that gives it both more stable performance and a more aggressive look. When combined with the facelifted i3’s more flared wheel arches, the new BMW i3S and its wider track looks squat and sporty. It also gets suspension that’s been lowered 10 mm. So it actually has a cool stance to it, which is almost comical on an i3. Who’da thunk it?

Sitting on the end of that wider wheel track are new wheels, made specifically for the BMW i3S. The exclusive 20″ bi-spoke alloys look good and sporty, making the i3 seem less cartoony. They’re also available in a two-tone or jet black finish, both are no-cost options. Not only are these 20″ wheels larger than the 19″ wheels on the standard i3, they’re half an inch wider, allowing for a wider tire, thus giving the i3 more grip. With the wider wheel track and wider tire, the BMW i3S should actually handle quite well, especially considering how well the standard car handles.

To compliment the newer, sportier suspension, the BMW i3S gets a bump in power. Using a beefier 184 hp and 199 lb-ft electric motor, the i3S is said to get from 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds.  That’s almost half a second faster than the standard car. So the extra 14 hp and 15 lb-ft over the standard car actually provide some extra performance. That 60 mph time is good enough to take on cars like the Volkswagen Golf, which is impressive for a little EV.

Aside from the sportier looks, new suspension and wheels and upgraded power, the BMW i3S is pretty much the same as the standard facelifted i3. Though, that’s not such a bad thing. The new BMW i3S should only make electric mobility more appealing to BMW enthusiasts. It will give them the same BMW i3 efficiency, just with some sportier looks and better performance. How can you go wrong?

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