BMW shows off their first ever BMW i3s, a performance version with a more powerful motor, sportier handling and looks to match. The i3s has been lowered 10mm, its handling track increased by 40 millimeters and a sport mode added to be able to take advantage of the changes. Cosmetically the i3s is differentiated most easily by the high-gloss black wheel arch moldings, and special 20” wider wheels. BMW increased the power of the electric motor to 184 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque.
The easiest way to tell that you are looking at an i3s are the new gloss black wheel arch moldings and special 20” double spoke wheels. These wheels are half an inch wider and may be spec’d in Jet Black finish as a no-cost option. The i3s’ A-Pillars are also in high-gloss black but this is a more subtle styling clue. Further highlighting the i3s visually are Frozen Grey or BMW iBlue dive planes on the lower part of the front bumper and painted Frozen Gray or iBlue strips just below the front doors.
BMW made comprehensive changes to the i3s Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Traction Control. First for a BMW i3 is a new Sport Mode. The new Sport mode on the driving dynamics control switch allows more direct steering and throttle response. As with the other 2018 i3 LCI updates in the interior include the new iDrive 6.0 and ConnectedDrive services. Performance wise, BMW states the i3s will do 0-60 in 6.8 seconds, which is 0.4 seconds faster than a standard i3.
The BMW i3 has always been a sporty electric vehicle with typical BMW dynamics in good part to its rear-wheel drive lay out. BMW even chose to highlight the sporty chassis of the BMW i3 at the press launch in Amsterdam with an autocross course. BMW has some tough work cut out for it in this segment though as the competition is ever evolving. Hopefully the addition of the BMW i3s will help them stay competitive.