The more purposeful-looking and performance-enhanced BMW i3s will make its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month alongside its lightly updated sibling that has been doing the zero-emissions rounds since 2013. Its wider wheels sit in extended wheelarches, and although it can hit 62mph nearly half a second quicker than the i3, it is still said to have a range of 125 miles in everyday use.
Both models of the new i3 feature slightly tweaked styling, and look like the previous model - but with a fairly aggressive facelift.
Range ratings weren't discussed in the press release, though we'd expect the standard 2018 BMW i3 to continue with its 2017 rating of 114 miles for the battery-electric version. LED lighting just gives the face a sleeker, more modern look.
BMW says the extra performance is credited to modified electric motor controls and a new motor with upgraded bearings, which boost performance at higher motor speeds.
The i3s is powered by a 184-hp electric motor wth 199 lb-ft. of torque, which is slight upgrade from the 170-hp and 184 lb-ft. of torque that the standard i3 packs.
Sports suspension will mean more chance of your spine dislodging over a pothole but the firmer setup is complimented by a 10mm drop in ride height and a 40mm widening of the track front and rear for better handling.
Available as an option for both the standard i3 and i3S is the two-cylinder range extender gasoline engine.
The new 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 new model also features a black roof, revised sills, lightly altered tail lamps graphics and a revised rear bumper. The video display screen grows to 10.25 inches and resolution grows to near HD levels.
Coinciding with the new model is the announcement of the i3s, which is a sportier variant. The infotainment system in the auto includes a 10.25-inch display, supports voice commands, Apple CarPlay and works with BMW i ConnectedDrive apps to keep the driver in the loop en route. It also offers seat belts in the optional BMW i Blue color, as first used in the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sport coupe.
Preliminary figures have the BMW i3 getting approximately 97 miles on a single charge.
BMW Digital Charging Service enables intelligent charging, allowing BMW customers to optimise charging costs, make best use of self-generated solar energy for charging, and even earn money through integration into the smart grid.