Last month, the BMW i family gained one more member, while another went through a meaningful refresh. The BMW i3s is the latest and greatest addition to the i lineup, a model that aims to improve the driving dynamics and looks of the electric vehicle. The new performance EV upgrades the standard i3’s 170 horsepower / 184 pound-feet of torque electric motor to a high-output version capable of 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. A sports suspension drops the i3s 10mm lower, widens its track by 40mm, and connects to new 20-inch rims.
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The driving experience gains a special Sport Mode with “more direct accelerator response and tighter steering characteristics.” All of that makes the i3s capable on 0 – 6 MPH in 6.8 seconds, with a 100 MPH top speed. It also has a special Sport driving mode with “more direct accelerator response and tighter steering characteristics.”
Next in line of upgrades was the “standard” i3 which comes to market next year with only cosmetic upgrades, and mostly related to the exterior. The 2018 i3 gains new full LED headlights, making it look more high-tech. LED lighting just gives the face a sleeker, more modern look. BMW also updated the foglights, which always looked like an after thought on the first-gen car. The new foglights are now horizontal and look more in keeping with the rest of the design. A new front bumper is featured, with a piece of trim that starts out atop the new foglights.
Out back, a new, more rounded rear bumper makes the rear end match the front. So it’s more cohesive still and looks less dumpy than the original. Though, the back is the most unchanged part of the exterior. There is a new silver horizontal bar that spans the entire rear end.
Inside the cabin of the i3, not much is changed at all. There are a couple of new interior color options. Giga Brown Natural Leather & Carum Spice Grey Wool Cloth are your two color choice with the new Giga World line and there is a new wood trim option. The big news on the inside, though, is the switch to BMW’s latest iDrive.
The i8 has yet to go through any changes, but a facelifted version is expected next year, along with a sportier version.