BMW’s award-winning i3 is already known as one of the most fun-to-drive battery electric vehicles on the market with its torquey motor and classic German handling characteristics. It’s about to get even better when the sportier 2018 i3s arrives early next year.
Both the drive system and suspension have been upgraded and as a result there is an increase to output as well as big improvements to on-road agility. Total horsepower is now 184, and torque 199 lb-ft. The i3s sits on speciality springs, dampers and anti-roll bars giving the EV a 10 millimetre lower ride height capable of cornering much flatter than the standard variant.
Drivers can control just how sporty the experience is using the dynamics control switch. After activating the new Sport mode, the accelerator instantly becomes more responsive, and the steering firmer. In this setting, the car can get from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds. A gasoline Range Extender engine remains an option.
To complement the boost in performance, the exterior is bolder than on the standard i3. To match the black roof and centre panels both on the front and rear of the vehicle, the A-pillars, parts of the BMW kidney grille and a few other trim pieces are finished in a high gloss black. Underneath the full LED headlights are coloured accent strips painted BMW I Blue or Frozen Grey that help show off the extra 40 millimetres in track width.
All i3 models benefit from the latest iDrive 6 user interface responsible for controlling everything from communications to infotainment. If equipped with the Navigation Professional, the 10.25-inch screen features a higher-resolution display. Voice commands can be executed more simply than before via Natural Language Understanding functionality. For example, the computer recognizes casual phrases such as “find the closest gas station,” similar to how smartphone voice assistants work.
More information will be available when the 2018 BMW i3S officially premieres at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt this month.