The facelifted i4 isn’t the only midsize electric BMW at the 2024 Beijing Motor Show as the i3 is also there. No, not the oddball hatchback, but the sedan. In case you’re unfamiliar with this model – which is only sold in China – allow us to explain. It’s based on the locally produced 3 Series Sedan with a longer wheelbase. It carries the “G28” internal codename and has been around since 2022 when the namesake city car was discontinued globally.

The i3 we photographed in Beijing is the more expensive eDrive40L, positioned above the entry-level eDrive35L. Both are sold exclusively with rear-wheel drive by featuring a motor mounted at the back. While this more potent variant is rated at 335 hp and 317 lb-ft (430 Nm), the base model makes do with 282 hp and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm).

The BMW i3 eDrive40L needs 5.6 seconds to reach 62 mph (100 km/h) whereas the lesser variant takes 6.2 seconds to get the job done. Stick to the base model and the battery has a 66.1-kWh capacity whereas the upgraded model gets a bigger 79-kWh pack. The eDrive35L will do 327 miles (526 kilometers) while the eDrive40L can cover 368 miles (592 km) on a single charge. It’s worth noting that these range figures are based on the China light-duty vehicle test cycle (CLTC).

These i3 models sold in China weigh a little over 2,000 kilograms (more than 4,400 pounds). They sit on the same CLAR platform as gasoline/diesel 3 Series Sedan. A recent spy shot has revealed BMW is preparing another facelift for the i3. It’s likely coming later this year or in 2025 with the same tweaks as the standard G20 3 Series. The latter will be getting another update in the coming months.

The i3 at the Beijing Motor Show has a few M Performance goodies inside and out. You’ll notice the steering wheel and central armrest are wrapped in Alcantara. The black and red cabin boasts M-colored stitching on the armrest while the wheel has a red 12 o’clock mark. Stepping outside, BMW installed a carbon fiber trunk lid spoiler and we’re pretty sure that diffuser is not standard either.

BMW won’t sell the i3 outside of China, even though the iX3 built there is exported. A Neue Klasse-based i3 will enter production in Munich in 2026 and should be a global model.