Quirky new BMW i3S brings more power, racier looks to the range
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Arguably the most charismatic car in BMW's current line-up, the i3, has undergone a thorough refresh ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The marque today revealed their updated i3, as well as a 'sporty' version called the i3S (pictured in red), and both come with a handsome array of changes.
In the looks department, the standard i3 sports a revised front bumper with more scoops than the old one, and a bigger central vent. The i3S, on the other hand, features a much more aggressive two-tone front bumper, as well as larger wheels — big 20-inch shoes that are 20mm further out than those of the standard car. The extra chub is accommodated via some extended black fender flares.
Inside, little has changed in a space that Driven already loves. Among the few alterations are the updated 10.2-inch iDrive infotainment display, though this is only available as an option. Owners will also get a new and improved charging cable, which reportedly speeds up recharge times to the extent that it'll only take three hours to charge the i3 to the brim.
The 'performance' element of the i3S continues under the skin, through its engine and suspension. The former features a boost in power to BMW's 33kWh electric power train; 137kW and 269Nm. That's 10kW and 20Nm more than the standard car. The suspension meanwhile is tuned, and is 10mm lower than normal. The i3 might not immediately scream 'driver's car', but make no mistake that they're a good laugh when hooning around an urban space.
What do those numbers, larger wheels, and increased aero mean for range? Evidently, not a lot. According to BMW's numbers anyway.
They claim that the i3S will travel for 280km in the best conditions (according to their tests on the NEDC cycle), and "up to 200km" in regular use. While the standard i3 is 10km better off in BMW's claimed NEDC cycle tests, it's more or less equal (200km) on their tests for regular tests.
Nice to know then that the slight whiff of fun-loving heathen in the i3S isn't costing the planet much more than driving the standard i3.