• Pinterest

BMW took the wraps off a refreshed i3 ahead of the Frankfurt motor show, revealing a gently updated EV that will replace a model that’s been on sale since 2013. Bavaria’s wee EV keeps its overall shape — which is why it doesn’t look obviously different in the photos below — but will be joined by a more powerful if not significantly sportier i3s powered by a higher-output electric motor producing 184 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. The base model, meanwhile, will keep its 170-hp and 184 lb-ft output.

The i3s model will set itself apart from the base i3 with a sport suspension dropped by a modest 0.3 inches, high-gloss black grille surrounds, roof accents and bumper inlays in addition to unique front and rear aprons. The revised suspension will feature specially developed dampers, springs and anti-roll bars, but perhaps more noticeable will be the exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels and a track widened by 1.5 inches. The i3s will serve up a slightly quicker sprint from 0 to 60 mph of 6.8 seconds, compared to 7.2 seconds on the base i3, and a higher top speed of 100 mph for a (purely) theoretically faster urban commute. Just like the base model, the i3s will be offered with a range extender that will bump the maximum “everyday use” range from 97 miles to a maximum of 180 miles.

How does Teslas Model 3 stack up against the Chevy Bolt

BMW tweaked a few things on both models when it comes to the interior, with the 2018 BMW i3 featuring an updated 10.25-inch i ConnectedDrive screen with an increased resolution of 1,440 × 540 pixels if buyers opt for the Navigation system Professional. This system features updated voice recognition technology as well as the new On-Street Parking Information search service, which informs drivers of the best locations to find a parking spot, as well as an outlined boundary of the i3’s real-time range displayed on a map.

When it comes to colors and options Melbourne Red Metallic and Imperial Blue Metallic will join the palette, in addition to a new interior cloth-leather trim combo called Giga Brown Natural Leather & Carum Spice Grey Cloth.

BMW will display the updated i3 and i3s at the Frankfurt motor show in a matter of days, but the i model that fans of hybrids sportier than the i3s will be looking for is the i8 Roadster, which won’t make its worldwide debut until the LA auto show in November.

2018 Nissan Leaf teaser