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

New BMW i4 styling revealed
2021 BMW i4
BMW
17 Mar 2021

New BMW i4 styling revealed

2021 BMW iX3 starts from £61,900
BMW iX3 driving
BMW X3
16 Sep 2020

2021 BMW iX3 starts from £61,900

BMW i3 hatchback review
BMW i3
7 Jul 2020

BMW i3 hatchback review

BMW i3 owner reviews
BMW i3
7 Jul 2020

BMW i3 owner reviews

Most Popular

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

New Mercedes EQS electric saloon unveiled
2021 Mercedes EQS front 3/4 tracking
Mercedes
15 Apr 2021

New Mercedes EQS electric saloon unveiled

Best new car deals 2021
Skoda Fabia
Deals
16 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

Tips & advice

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

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks