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Sports model tops new BMW i3 electric range

More power, retuned chassis feature on i3s variant.

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The BMW i3 has been facelifted three years after it first went on sale, with styling revisions, more equipment and a new sports-pitched model, the i3s.

This version produces 184hp with peak torque of 270Nm, which compares to 170hp and 250Nm from the i3. It will go from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds and onto 99mph, while its official electric range is 174 miles, the real-world range 125mph.

Sports suspension is also fitted, with bespoke springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, that also drops the ride height by 10mm. A Sport drive mode is added, with more direct response to the accelerator and sharper steering, while a 40mm wider track is contained within black wheel arch extenders. The 20-inch alloy wheels are 20mm wider than previous versions.

More miles per charge

Across the i3 line-up improved range is promised from the 94Ah lithium-ion battery mounted in the floor. The Dynamic Stability Control traction system has been refined and responds faster, while a wheel speed limiter both aids stability and improves the energy regenerated under braking.

The restyling majors on a sportier look emphasising the i3’s width, with a black belt running from the bonnet over the roof, more black on the A-pillars and roof lines and a chrome strip across the rear flank. More exterior paint finishes are now available and LED headlamps are now standard, while the choice of driver-assistance systems available has been expanded.

Both the i3 and i3s can be ordered with a range-extender petrol engine. The two-cylinder unit offers 38hp to drive a generator and adds 93 miles to the everyday range.

BMW i3 The Car Expert

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.