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Thread: 2018 BMW i3, First-Ever i3s Performance Variant Announced

  1. #1
    Senior Editor nsaporito's Avatar
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    2018 BMW i3, First-Ever i3s Performance Variant Announced

    Source: AutoVerdict
    August 28, 2017
    by Nick Saporito


    Today BMW has taken the wraps off the refreshed 2018 BMW i3 and the first-ever i3s performance model. Although visual changes to the i3 lineup are modest at best, the i3s is providing a sportier take on the i3 battery-electric vehicle that is perhaps more befitting of the BMW brand.

    All i3 models have received several design updates to the exterior, although at first glance that's difficult to believe. BMW has coated the car's A-pillars and roofline in a glossy black finish, borrowing the scheme from other accents on the i3. Additionally, the front and rear bumpers have been redesigned and incorporated into wider fender flares to give the tiny i3 a wider stance on the road.

    New matte-finish black trim surrounds LED turn indicators, which rest under LED low and high-beam headlights that are now standard.

    The i3's interior has seen even fewer changes. It is retaining its use of sustainable materials in its signature open-concept layout. From a software perspective, BMW has upgraded the i3 to the latest version of its iDrive infotainment system and added in a higher-resolution 10-inch screen.

    Unquestionably, the biggest news here is the addition of the i3s model. Obviously the "s" stands for sport, as the i3s features 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque, a decent increase from the base i3, which offers 170 horsepower, 184 pound-feet of torque. The higher output converges with a ride height that's lowered by 0.4-inches and a track that's 1.57-inches wider. The lower, wider stance is held up by unique dampers, springs and anti-roll bars that are all tuned for a sportier take on the base i3.

    i3s buyers will also enjoy a new Sport setting on BMW's Interactive Drive Control System, which will tighten up the steering, provide more aggressive acceleration and will send the i3s from zero to 60 mph in about 6.8 seconds. In comparison, the base i3 sees 60 mph in about 7.2 seconds.

    Of course, the i3s gets a slightly unique appearance on the outside. Unique 20-inch light-alloy two-tone wheels and wheel flare extensions to show off the sportier nature of this i3.

    Like the base i3, buyers can add the two-cylinder Range Extender gas engine to the i3s.

    BMW will be formally revealing the new i3 and i3s at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.

    Read full article at AutoVerdict

    [Return to AutoVerdict blog]

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tone's Avatar
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    I'm in the minority of liking the design of the i3. Instead of trying to look like older BMWs like the iconic 2002, it embraces their design brief. Like the 1600/2002, the i3 is a rational design that adopts a clean (if odd) shape to maximize packaging. Like the 2002, it gets it performance (and range) through lightness. And, like the 2002, it's not a numbers car.

    That all said, the i3 just isn't competitive from a performance and range point of view. Unlike the 2002, it isn't a giant killer -- a practical car that could dust off pure sports cars. That's what Tesla does, today. I like the idea of a sportier version, but this is too vanilla. BMW needs better batteries for more range and the ability to allow the range extender to meaningfully extend the range -- the current RE is mandated for some markets to not exceed the range of the batteries. Given the performance numbers, I can't imagine anyone who doesn't just want an i3 buying this over a Bolt, which offers better performance, similar packaging and a much better price.

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