Staying true to the BMW i ethos of combining emissions-free travel with dynamic handling and performance, the new, all-electric BMW i3 and i3s are once again leading the charge with a larger battery cell capacity and an increased range.
Doubling in size, the new battery on the all-electric BMW i3 and i3s now has a capacity of 120Ah and a gross energy content of 42.2kWh.
The new i3 and i3s are about innovation and cutting-edge technology, but they are also about style, comfort and practicality. The introduction of the new battery also brings a new exterior colour and a new colour for the optional interior world ‘Loft’ as well as optional Adaptive LED headlights featuring anti-dazzle functionality.
Optional telephony with wireless charging and wireless LAN hotspot will also be available for the BMW i3 and BMW i3s.
Designed and developed independently by the BMW Group as an integral part of the eDrive technology, the batteries within the i3 and i3s are installed deep in the floor. The lithium-ion high performance cells are combined with a cooling system that constantly keeps the battery at optimum operating temperature, thus increasing output and service life. The latest range of high-voltage batteries on the new BMW i3 and i3s have increased in capacity without any increase in size.
In real terms, this enables the BMW and the BMW i3s to achieve a significantly further enhanced all-electric range. The official range of the BMW i3 is 223 miles (previously 180 to 186 miles) according to NEDC. For the BMW i3s, a range of 214 miles (previously 174 miles) according to NEDC. This means 192 miles of driving range according to WLTP.
During everyday use, the two models are now able to cover a distance of 160 miles – an increase of almost 30 per cent from the previous 94Ah models. The combined power consumption of the BMW i3 is 13.1kWh per 62 miles, while the BMW i3s has a power consumption of 14.6kWh per 62 miles.
Maintaining reserves and charging the BMW i3 and i3s is fed through high-quality electronics to allow fast and flexible charging of the lithium-ion cells compatible with rapid-charging stations, public charging as well as charging at home. Using rapid-charging stations that run on DC power, the charging capacity is 50kW and this way the high voltage battery will reach 80 per cent of its total power in just 42 minutes.
Charging via the BMW i Wallbox enables fast charging with a capacity of 7.4 kW. Here the time required to achieve an 80 per cent charge of the large-capacity high-voltage battery is 4.9 hours. The BMW i Wallbox Connect also extends the functionality of the globally unique BMW Digital Charging Service to provide intelligent charging for optimal cost efficiency and allows customers to make best use of self-generated solar energy. In addition, it is also possible to control the charging process using a smartphone app and manage usage by means of an access card. Drivers with a registered ChargeNow card have simple access to the UK’s largest network of public charging stations.
Meanwhile, the standard charging cable, which is designed to be plugged into a conventional household socket, can be used to charge a BMW i3 to up to 80 per cent of its full power in approximately 15 hours with a charging capacity of 2.3 kW
Consistent further development of BMW’s eDrive technology has improved the performance of both BMW i3 and i3s. The BMW i3, powered by a 170hp electric motor, completes zero to 62mph benchmark in 7.3 seconds, while the BMW i3s with its 184hp power completes the standard sprint in 6.9 seconds. This means that the two models both set the benchmark for sporty performance within their segment. Both the i3 and i3s continue with the strong performance as they approach motorway speeds, accelerating from 50mph to 75mph in 5.1 and 4.3 seconds respectively.
BMW eDrive, the electrical drive component of BMW iPerformance models, delivers maximum driving pleasure almost silently and without local emissions. Three parts form the core of eDrive: the electric motor, the lithium-ion high performance battery and intelligent energy management.
The unmistakable exterior of the BMW i3 styling has already picked up the Gold iF award for product design and the World Car Design of the Year award along with other accolades, but new design touches have been introduced to convey the sporty and stirring driving experience on offer.
The trademark BMW i Black Belt running from the bonnet over the roof to the car’s rear end is now complemented by A-pillars and roof lines that also sport a black finish. Its characteristic shaping is closely linked to the LifeDrive vehicle architecture, which combines an aluminium chassis with a passenger cell made carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). The range of paint finishes has been extended to include Jucaro metallic with accentuations in Frozen Grey. Mineral Grey metallic, Imperial Blue metallic, Melbourne Red metallic, Capparis White and Fluid Black paint finishes are still available.
LED headlights are standard, while Adaptive LED headlights are now optionally available with an automatic selective dip function for the high beam. Innovative design and technology mean that the high beam will give the driver increased visibility range without dazzling other road users. This technology splits the front light cluster into four horizontally arranged sections that can be activated and deactivated independently of each other at speeds of over 50mph. The high beam segments are controlled based on the traffic situation. As soon as the front camera registers an oncoming vehicle or a vehicle travelling ahead in the same direction, the space in which this vehicle is located is illuminated using the low beam only. The remaining areas of the road continue to be illuminated by the high beam. Adaptive LED headlight functions also include the cornering light and the high beam assistant.
The BMW i3 and i3s go on sale from December 2018, with prices starting from £35,180 OTR.