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2018 BMW i3 revealed with new tech, exterior upgrades


BMW refreshes the i3 EV, adds new high-performance S model

Six months ago, our spies managed to spot the 2018 BMW i3 refresh draped in heavy camouflage. From the looks of things, the electric vehicle (EV) will adopt an evolutionary redesign along with a more powerful variant

Today, BMW has confirmed that after revealing the 2018 i3. Sporting a revised exterior, along with new technologies, BMW aims to make the updated i3 more appealing to buyers by giving it a sportier finish, better handling and a new high performance model dubbed the 'i3S'.


Beginning with its exterior, the 2018 i3 features an evolutionary design from its predecessor. While still relatively looking the same as the pre-updated model, the refreshed EV receives some subtle revisions. First up are the front and rear bumpers which have been redesigned. According to BMW, the revised front and rear highlight the car's wider stance.

This works in tandem with the new sports suspenion that drops ride height by 10mm, along with the black gloss finished wheel arch moldings and 20-inch lightweight aluminum alloy wheels. In addition, the new wheels can also be specified in Jet Black for a more aggressive finish.

Beyond that, the 2018 i3 now also comes with full LED headlights and daytime running lights (DRLs). Even the turn signals now use LEDs for better illumination. Completing the exterior updates are two new paint options, Melbourne Red Metallic and Imperial Blue Metallic.

Stepping inside, the refreshed EV gets BMW's latest in-car infotainment system in the form of iDrive 6. It is channeled through a 10.25-inch display and comes with navigation, voice recognition and a dictate function for e-mails and text messages as such. Also available as an option is Apple CarPlay which allows drivers to interface their iPhone onto the car's onboard system.

As for the cabin itself, the 2018 i3 can be specified in a variety of trim options. Depending on the model chosen, the i3 can come with brown leather upholstery mixed with cloth fabric, or tanned leather with a wool-based trim. In addition, almost all of the materials used in the i3's cabin are recycled plastics, renewable materials, natural fibers and unbleached eucalyptus wood.

As before, the 2018 i3 is powered by a synchronus electric motor that pushes out 170 PS and 249 Nm of torque. It can sprint from 0 – 97 km/h in 7.2 seconds before reaching a top speed of 150 km/h. For those that want more pep in their i3, BMW is now also offering a more powerful version in the i3S.

The BMW i3S cranks out 184 PS along with a healthy pulling power rated at 270 Nm. Its drive system has been updated as well over the standard model and comes with a modified motor control and tapered roller bearings. Compared to the standard i3, the i3S represents a 40-percent improvement in power. 0 - 97 km/h is achieved at 6.8 seconds while top speed is limited at 160 km/h.

Other than that, the 2018 i3S also gets a sports specific springs, dampers and anti-roll bars for better handling on the limit. There is even a Sport mode available which delivers better accelerator response and tighter steering.

Available as an option for both the standard i3 and i3S is the two-cylinder range extender gasoline engine. It produces power to charge the high-voltage battery which then powers the electric motor. With it, the i3's maximum range of 156 km can be extended to 290 km.

Other features available for the 2018 BMW i3 include: Actice Cruise Control, Active Driving Assistant, Advanced Real Time Traffic Information, Park Distance Control, Front Collision Warning and Pedestrian Protection as such.

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