Currently reading: Hot BMW i3S iPerformance model to launch this September
Refreshed electric city car range will gain new range-topper; it's due for reveal at the Frankfurt motor show
News
2 mins read
26 May 2017

BMW is putting the finishing touches to facelifted version of the i3, including a new range-topping i3S iPerformance model that's set to make its world debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September. 

Set for UK delivery early next year, the updated i3 receives a number of subtle styling updates that help to visually differentiate it from its four-year-old predecessor.

The BMW i3S has now been revealed. Click here to read more 

Included is re-profiled front bumper housing new slim line fog lamps in place of the round units used today, altered LED headlight graphics, revised sills underneath the doors, reworked tail-light lenses, a deeper and reshaped rear bumper, new alloy wheels and a wider range of optional two-tone exterior colour schemes.

Technically, the new model remains the same as the existing i3 – itself updated in 2016 with a 94Ah lithium ion battery, available as an upgrade over the standard 60Ah unit in use since the i3 was launched in 2013.  

Electric Mini to launch as fifth 'superhero model' in 2019

Next to the standard 168bhp version of the quirkily styled rear-wheel drive hatchback, the German car maker also plans to launch a sporting i3S iPerformance variant.

Details remain scarce, though high-level engineering sources at BMW have revealed to Autocar that it will receive an updated electric motor featuring a 20bhp boost in peak power over the standard i3, taking its total up to 188bhp.

Autocar's Top 10 best electric hatchbacks 

The subtle increase in power is claimed to provide the new range-topping i3 model with added accelerative ability without any detriment to driving range, which is a claimed 300km with the 94Ah battery.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review
BMW i3s

Revised hatchback sets out its range-extended electric stall in a new, sportier tune

Back to top

The increased performance of the i3S iPerformance is allied to a number of detailed chassis tweaks, including the adoption of a 40mm wider front track and a 10mm reduction in ride height over the standard version of the updated i3.

Autocar can also confirm that BMW has also reprogrammed the dynamic stability control system of the i3 to provide the facelifted model with added grip and traction in wet conditions. 

Inside, the reworked i3 receives a new range of trims as well as an updated iDrive infotainment system featuring the latest software and interface developments – as launched on the latest BMW 5 Series and now featured in other recently facelifted BMW models.

BMW boss reiterates Mini pull-out Brexit threat

Join the debate

Comments
21
Add a comment…
NavalReserve 27 May 2017

@Autocar

I suspect it should be a 94 kW h battery, not 94 Ah. Tha'ts the sort of one that's used for an ICE.
Halcyon 29 May 2017

Nope

It really is a 94 Ah battery. For some reason BMW likes to report the the battery size in amp hours, which is grazy because without the knowledge about the battery voltage it doesn't reveal the actual energy content.

I suspect they do this because they are too ashamed to admit that their biggest battery is only 33 kWh when Tesla boasts three times larger battery capacities.

xansamaff 27 May 2017

fugly

I would never accuse BMW of making pretty or desirable looking cars, they are clearly about utility first and the badge will ensure there is a queue of people but, even for ugly sister specialist BMW, they have surpassed themselves with this. Breaking all of the well held laws of aesthetics simultaneously is no mean feat. Truly hideous, its provenance somewhere between Fiat Multipla and Citroen Berlingo. Im sure its a fine vehicle though.
max1e6 26 May 2017

Flawed

It is a flawed design. Bad choices were made for the entire design. The sad thing is that BMW put an enormous amount of effort into developing it. A pity.

Find an Autocar car review