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BMW updates i3 electric car and adds performance S variant

BMW has updated its compact electric car, the i3, for 2018 with refreshed styling, new features and a range-topping s version.

Prices start at £34,070 for the new model, which is available to order now ahead of its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

New front and rear aprons place particular emphasis on the car’s width to give a sportier look and all models now come equipped with full LED headlights as standard.

Loft, Lodge and Suite equipment lines are available as alternatives to the standard Atelier version. The Lodge interior design option includes a new covering for the seat surfaces in Solaric Brown that combines natural leather tanned using an olive leaf extract with a wool-based textile material.

New models also feature an updated version of the iDrive operating system for infotainment, communications and navigation functions and all vehicles are now equipped with the Navigation system Professional.

The electric motor powering the new BMW i3 generates a maximum output of 170PS and reaches a peak torque of 250Nm. The power is transferred via a single-speed automatic transmission meaning the zero to 62mph sprint can be achieved in 7.3 seconds. Top speed is limited to 93mph.

A lithium-ion high-voltage battery provides a range of 180-186 miles based on the NEDC cycle, 146 to 158 miles as per WLTP and up to 125 miles in everyday use.

The new i3s is powered by a high-performance 184PS electric motor that generates peak torque of 270Nm. It can reach 62mph in 6.9 seconds and a maximum speed of 99mph, with only a minimal reduction in total range. It also boasts sports suspension with specially developed springs, dampers and anti-roll bars lowering the ride height by around 10mm.

A 38PS two-cylinder range extender petrol engine is available as an option for both the new BMW i3 and the new BMW i3s. The engine drives a generator that produces power as required while driving to maintain a constant level of charge in the high-voltage battery. This extends the car’s overall range in everyday use by 93 miles. Co2 for the i3 range extender is between 13 and 15g/km.

The functionality of the standard charging cable supplied with the new BMW i3s has been optimised and includes a temperature sensor. Charging at home using the BMW i Wallbox can supply enough energy for an electric range of around 112 miles to be transferred in under three hours – five times quicker than with the standard charging cable.



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