BMW has given the i3 some mid-cycle updates, including a sportier version. When you think of the BMW i3, “exciting” probably isn’t the first word to come to mind. What you may not realize is how revolutionary it’s been, especially as a sub-$50,000 EV with a carbon fiber structure. But these days the i3 looks outdated.
Of course, BMW has some tricks up its sleeve. A mid-cycle update has freshened up the EV’s looks. Is that alone enough to keep sales going?
Among the new items are standard full LED headlights, horizontal fog lights, revised front fascia, wider fenders, and a new rear bumper. One of the craziest additions is a silver trim piece that runs down both sides of the roof, ending at the top of the D-pillar. You could say the i3 looks more luxurious, grown-up, less cartoonish, even.
The interior is virtually the same, as is the powertrain.
A bigger change is the i3S. Before this update, some enthusiasts realized the little EV does well at Autocross, thanks to a low center of gravity, plenty of torque, and relatively low curb weight. The i3S just emphasizes these attributes.
Aesthetically speaking, the “S” means you get all-black exterior trim pieces, plus exclusive 20-inch bi-spoke alloy wheels. That’s pretty much it. Mechanically, the wheel track bumps out by 40 mm, and the suspension drops by 10 mm, so handling improves. BMW also boosted the electric motor, so it puts out a sportier 184 horsepower and 199 lb.-ft. of torque, which is supposed to scoot the EV from 0-60 mph a half a second quicker.