BMW Group introduced the latest BMW i3 including the first ever BMW i3s, as part of the BMW i portfolio. The BMW i3 is the bestselling compact battery-electric vehicle in the premium compact segment worldwide since it was launched in 2014.
The design of the new BMW i3 and the exclusive first-ever BMW i3s has been altered to enhance the sporty, urban built yet elegant design of the model. Featuring a wider track, wheel arch molding and design lines that are vastly horizontal, the 2018 BMW i3 models have morphed into a versatile, urban, innovative efficiency mobility vehicle. For the first time, BMW also offers a more powerful and sportier version of the BMW i3 – the BMW i3s, which can also be equipped with a Range Extender.
The 2018 BMW i3 and BMW i3s will celebrate their world premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt next month with pricing being announced closer to market launch. The global market launch will begin in November 2017.
BMW eDrive electric motor in two output levels, high-voltage battery with large capacity of 94 Ah/33 kWh, optional range extender engine
The driving experience in the BMW i models has played no small part in the growing appeal and popularity of electric mobility. Following systematic refinement, the BMW eDrive technology aboard the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s enables drivers to enjoy locally emission-free mobility with wonderfully instantaneous power delivery, efficient use of energy and an optimised range for a level of everyday practicality that even extends beyond the demands of purely urban travel.
Both models draw their energy from the lithium-ion high-voltage battery developed by the BMW Group with a capacity of 94 ampere hours (Ah) or 33 kilowatt hours (kWh). A range extender engine can be ordered as an option for both the new BMW i3 and the new BMW i3s.
Emission-free fun at the wheel: a more intense experience than ever, now with two power options
The synchronous electric motor powering the new BMW i3 generates a maximum output of 125 kW/170 hp. Its peak torque is 250 Nm (184 lb-ft), all of which is available instantly from a standstill, as is usual with electric motors. This means that stepping on the accelerator pedal immediately unleashes a thrilling burst of speed. The motor smoothly delivers the kind of performance that drivers expect from a BMW via a single-speed automatic transmission, with continuous power delivery that builds up the car’s tempo in a characteristically dynamic fashion. 0-100 km/h (62 mph) is achieved by the new BMW i3 in 7.3 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 150 km/h (93 mph).
Located low in the vehicle floor, the lithium-ion high-voltage battery provides a range of 290 to 300 kilometres (180-186 miles) based on the NEDC cycle, 235 to 255 kilometres (146 to 158 miles) as per WLTP and up to 200 kilometres (124 miles) in everyday use. The combined electric power consumption of the new BMW i3 on the NEDC cycle varies between 13.6 and 13.1 kWh for every 100 kilometres.
The agile handling characteristics of the BMW i3 are improved still further by the optimised Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. This comprehensively revised, faster responding traction control system guarantees confident handling under all driving conditions. The BMW i3 now features a globally unique form of wheel speed limiting that ensures increased directional stability, both under dynamic acceleration and on the overrun with strong regenerative braking. Traction during pull-away on snow and wet roads has also been noticeably improved. DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) mode now boosts agility at higher speeds and during sporty cornering, even allowing mild and safely controllable drifts when grip levels are reduced.
The new BMW i3s provides an even sportier interpretation of silent mobility with zero local emissions and features a high-performance 135 kW/184 hp electric motor that generates peak torque of 270 Nm (199 lb-ft). Its updated drive system includes modified motor control and specific taper roller bearings, which have been utilised to further optimise power delivery and the performance curve at higher rpm. At the limits of the motor speed range, the power and torque of the further developed drive system represent an improvement of up to 40% for the BMW i3.
What’s more, the new BMW i3s boasts sports suspension with specially developed springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. Drivers can also select SPORT mode using the Driving Experience Control switch. This initiates more direct accelerator response and tighter steering characteristics to further accentuate the car’s sporting edge.
Just 6.9 seconds is enough to see the new BMW i3s burst past 100 km/h (62 mph) on its way to a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph). It returns a combined electric power consumption of 14.3 kWh per 100 kilometres on the NEDC cycle. Its electric range runs to 280 kilometres (174 miles) based on the NEDC cycle, 235 to 245 kilometres (146 to 152 miles) as per WLTP and up to 200 kilometres (124 miles) in everyday use.
A 28 kW/38 hp two-cylinder range extender petrol engine is available as an option for both the new BMW i3 and the new BMW i3s. The engine drives a generator that produces power as required while driving to maintain a constant level of charge in the high-voltage battery. This extends the car’s overall range in everyday use by 150 kilometres (93 miles), increasing it from around 180 kilometres (112 miles) to a maximum of 330 kilometres (205 miles). The all-electric range of the new BMW i3 with range extender is 225 to 235 kilometres (140 – 146 miles) as per NEDC and 190 to 200 kilometres (118 – 124 miles) as per WLTP. The corresponding figures for the new BMW i3s with range extender come in at 220 kilometres (137 miles) on the NEDC and 185 to 195 kilometres (115 to 121 miles) on the WLTP cycle.
On the NEDC cycle, the new BMW i3 with range extender returns combined consumption figures per 100 kilometres of 11.9 to 11.5 kWh of electric power and 0.6 litres of fuel (fuel consumption of 470.8 mpg imp; CO2 emissions: 14 –13 g/km). On the same combined NEDC cycle, the new BMW i3s with range extender consumes 12.5 kWh of electric power per 100 kilometres and 0.7 litres of fuel (fuel consumption of 403.5 mpg imp; CO2 emissions: 14 g/km).
Extensive range of driver assistance systems: Parking Assistant and Traffic Jam Assistant take over control of steering
The driver assistance systems available for the new BMW i3 and BMW i3s ease the driver’s workload and provide support in various traffic situations, as well as helping with longitudinal and lateral vehicle control. The optional Parking Assistance package includes Park Distance Control, a reversing camera and the Parking Assistant. Once a suitable parking space parallel to the road has been selected, the Parking Assistant takes control of acceleration, braking, gear selection and steering.
Driving Assistant Plus, also available as an option, incorporates Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, Speed Limit Info, Proactive Driving Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, and the Traffic Jam assistant, which not only maintains a safe distance to the car in front in stop-start traffic at up to 60 km/h (37 mph), but also keeps the car in lane. The system takes its cues from lane markings, the width of the road and vehicles travelling ahead.
Design: sporty look
The new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s have a remarkably dynamic character by premium compact electric car standards, and a number of design tweaks have been included to express this to particularly striking effect in their visual appearance too.
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. The range of paint finishes for the remaining body elements has been extended to include Melbourne Red metallic and Imperial Blue metallic. Besides these two new additions, customers can also choose from the non-metallic shades Capparis White and Fluid Black as well as Protonic Blue metallic and Mineral Grey metallic.
The new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s come equipped with all-LED headlights as standard, which employ LED bulb units for dipped beam and high beam as well as the daytime running lights. The new turn signal indicators also feature LED technology and are integrated into the front apron in the form of horizontal strips. This means that LEDs are now used for all lighting functions at the front of the vehicle too, as was already the case with the glass-covered rear light assemblies.
The new BMW i3s: a thoroughly dynamic performer
The new BMW i3s incorporates a number of design elements all of its own that underscore its particularly dynamic character. Both the front and rear aprons are notable for their model-specific, powerfully shaped contours. At the front, the bumper inlay as well as the U-shaped surround encircling it have a black finish. The front apron’s side sections are bordered on their lower edge by accent strips in BMW i Blue or Frozen Grey that further emphasise the width of the car. The accent in the closed BMW kidney grille is also painted in high-gloss black on the BMW i3s to give the grille a larger and more prominent appearance. The rear apron of the new BMW i3s is likewise composed of individually styled contours, while the black surround frames an extra-wide, body-coloured inlay. On the new BMW i3s, the roof line accent also sports the same high-gloss black finish as the A-pillars.
The new BMW i3s comes equipped as standard with sports suspension that includes a 10-millimetre drop in ride height. The additional 40 millimetres of track width compared to the BMW i3 is given added impact by the black wheel arch borders. The new BMW i3s is available with exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design that are 20 millimetres wider than the previously available versions. They can be ordered in the Bicolour and Jet Black colour variants.
Interior: great sense of roominess, sustainable materials
Like the exterior design, the interior styling of the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s is rooted in the novel LifeDrive vehicle architecture. The carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell has a wonderfully spacious feel about it and is dominated by a sense of lightness. The design principle of the two four-seater models means there is no need for either fixed B-pillars or a transmission tunnel. Doors that open in opposite directions allow the occupants to get in and out with the greatest of ease.
The Loft, Lodge and Suite equipment lines are available for the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s as alternatives to the standard Atelier version. The Lodge interior design option includes a new covering for the seat surfaces in Solaric Brown that combines natural leather tanned using an olive leaf extract with a wool-based textile material. The fact that the BMW i3 and BMW i3s also count sustainability among their premium characteristics shines through in the rest of the materials selected for them too, including recycled plastics, renewable raw materials, natural fibres and open-pored, unbleached eucalyptus wood. Over 80 percent of the surfaces visible to the passengers are made from recycled materials or renewable resources. The new blue seat belt option provides a splash of colour in the interior in typical brand style. The BMW i3s supplements all this with special model lettering on the front floor mats as standard.
Further developed iDrive system, BMW i ConnectedDrive with navigation features and On-Street Parking Information specially developed for electric mobility
Both the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s come with an updated version of the iDrive operating system, which provides an intuitive interface for controlling numerous vehicle, infotainment, communications and navigation functions. In vehicles equipped with the Navigation system Professional, the Control Display has a diagonal of 10.25 inches and an increased resolution of 1,440 × 540 pixels. The main menu is also presented in the form of horizontally arranged tiles with a live mode. The voice recognition system has also been further optimised. With the aid of Natural Language Understanding, spoken instructions can now be executed more quickly and precisely, e.g. when searching for music and phone numbers or dictating e-mails and SMS messages. New to the options list is Apple CarPlay preparation. This allows additional smartphone apps to be integrated seamlessly with the vehicle’s operating system.
The further expanded BMW i ConnectedDrive offering – unmatched by any rival – ensures intelligent connectivity through services specially tailored to electric mobility. The digital On-Street Parking Information search service, now available for the first time in the BMW i3, can also be used alongside the Real Time Traffic Information system if the Navigation system Professional is specified. Public charging stations and information about their availability can also be displayed on the navigation system’s map. When route guidance is activated, data about the route is also used to calculate the range shown in the instrument cluster as accurately as possible. The range map provides a visual representation of the current operating radius. It is also possible to display the different ranges achievable in each of the Driving Experience Control modes. BMW i-specific navigation features also include intermodal route guidance. This helps users to quickly and efficiently reach their destination by factoring in local public transport timetables and connections. Regular, automatic updates of the navigation data are now also provided “over the air” in the BMW i3, using a mobile network connection.
A package of new services were introduced in July 2017 under the BMW Connected+ banner which enable a highly personalised and more straightforward display of information inside the car. All of the digital services related to BMW Connected and BMW Connected+ will be available in the BMW i3 and BMW i3s. These span intelligent route planning, including stop-offs at charging stations or petrol stations (Send my Routes to Car), sharing of the car’s current location via SMS and live link (Share Live Trip Status), personalised display of relevant in-car information (BMW Onboard), seamless transfer of route instructions to the customer’s smartphone or smartwatch once the car is parked (Navigate Door-to-Door) and direct syncing of contacts and addresses to the navigation system (My Destinations).
BMW Digital Charging Service enables intelligent charging
The BMW Digital Charging Service brings customers the future of charging, today. BMW ConnectedDrive and the BMW ConnectedDrive Portal turn charging into a digital experience. As a result, the BMW i3 and BMW i3s are integrated perfectly into the customer’s smart ecosystem. This allows BMW customers to optimise charging costs, make best use of self-generated solar energy for charging and even earn money through integration into the smart grid. The service’s ease of use – from a smartphone via BMW Connected or from PCs and tablets via the BMW ConnectedDrive Portal – also facilitates fully transparent, sustainable use of renewable energy. With the introduction of its unique BMW Digital Charging Service, BMW becomes the world’s first carmaker to integrate electric mobility with its customers’ digital worlds.
360° ELECTRIC: new charging cable, BMW i Wallbox Connect
360° ELECTRIC is a range of products and services that help make electric mobility a convenient, everyday experience. The functionality of the standard charging cable supplied with the new BMW i3s has been optimised and includes a temperature sensor. Charging at home is extremely user-friendly thanks to the BMW i Wallbox which, in its most recent incarnation, can supply 11 kW of power to charge the high-voltage battery. This allows enough energy for an electric range of around 180 kilometres (112 miles) to be transferred in under three hours – five times quicker than with the standard charging cable. The new BMW i Wallbox Connect also extends the functionality of the globally unique 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 unrestricted access to the world’s largest network of public charging stations.