BMW i3 updated with new batteries and options

BMW’s electric i3 benefits from increased range and more options

BMW has updated the i3 with an improved battery pack and new trim options.

The rating of the battery used by the i3 and i3s has gone up from 33kWh to 42kWh, meaning both models are capable of going further on a single charge than before.

The standard 168bhp i3 now claims a range of 193 miles, an improvement of 34 miles, while the 181bhp i3s can now manage 177 miles on a single charge, which is up from 152 miles.

Carbuyer's best electric cars

The new battery takes 15 hours to charge from 0-80% on a normal three-pin plug. This time shortens to just over three hours with an 11kW BMW wallbox, while a 50kW rapid charger will give the battery the same charge in 42 minutes.

If you’d like the sporty look of the i3s without its more powerful electric motor, BMW has introduced a Sports Package for the standard model, which includes the wider track, lower sports suspension and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Buyers can also choose from some new paint colours, including a beige and a grey, new upholstery colours and adaptive LED headlights.

BMW i3s: performance and handling

Both i3 models have the same electric motors as before, so performance is unchanged. The BMW i3s puts out 181bhp, which is enough to send it from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds, compared to 7.3 seconds for the standard i3.

The i3s also features tuned sports suspension so the car sits 10mm lower to the ground for improved handling and reduced body lean. BMW has also tweaked the i3’s electronic safety settings for the i3s, and says it’s now capable of “controlled drifting” when provoked. A Sport mode also features, sharpening the accelerator and steering responses when selected.

Marking the i3s out aesthetically from the standard car are 20-inch two-tone alloy wheels, while options for the i3s include jet black alloys for those who favour a little more road presence.

A Range Extender (REx) version of the i3s is also offered, and this takes 7.7 seconds to go from 0-62mph. It adds a small petrol engine between the rear wheels that acts as a generator for the batteries, helping to alleviate much of the range anxiety that burdens some electric car owners.

New BMW i3 price and on sale date

The new i3 range will be available to buy in Europe in November but exact prices have yet to be announced. The standard i3 currently costs £34,070, though the Government’s plug-in grant brings that down to £29,570. The REx is currently available from £37,220, or £32,475 after grant.

The faster i3s is £36,975, or £32,475 after grant. Adding the Range Extender package to the i3s pushes its price up to £40,125, or £35,625 once the plug-in grant is taken into account.

Recommended

Top 10 best London Congestion Charge exempt cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
15 Nov 2021

Top 10 best London Congestion Charge exempt cars 2022

Best used cars: our 2022 Best Used Car Award winners
Carbuyer Best Used Car Awards 2022 - the winners
Awards
13 Oct 2021

Best used cars: our 2022 Best Used Car Award winners

Your complete BMW car configurator guide
BMW M4 configurator
BMW
8 Sep 2021

Your complete BMW car configurator guide

BMW i3 hatchback review
BMW i3 driving
BMW i3
23 Jun 2021

BMW i3 hatchback review

Most Popular

UK road tax costs 2021/2022 explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Tips and advice
7 Jan 2022

UK road tax costs 2021/2022 explained

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Best cars
6 Jan 2022

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022

Best 0% APR car deals
Hyundai Bayon deals
Deals
5 Jan 2022

Best 0% APR car deals

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
29 Sep 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
1 Dec 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
27 Oct 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022