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BMW Announces a Sport Version of its i3 Electric Car

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【Summary】​BMW just announced that a sport version of the i3 will be offered on the 2018 model — the i3s.

Original Eric Walz    Aug 28, 2017 6:34 PM PT
BMW Announces a Sport Version of its i3 Electric Car

Since its initial debut in 2014, the BMW i3 has been a offbeat, eco-friendly option in BMW's performance oriented lineup, complete with a boxy shape and narrow, low-rolling resistance tires. Now the little electric car is getting an added dose of BMW muscle and prowess.

BMW just announced that a sport version of the i3 will be offered on the 2018 model — the i3s.

The upgraded performance drive system is designed for enhanced power delivery when the motor is spinning at the high end of its rev band. Most Importantly, power has been dialed up. BMW claims the i3s's motor speed range, power, and torque at the limit of its performance capabilities is an impressive 40% more than the standard i3.

The rear-mounted electric motor of the i3s delivers 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque, up from the 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of the regular model. The engineers have also modified motor control and roller bearing settings of the i3s, which improves performance at the top end. According to BMW, at the limits of motor speed, there's a 40 percent improvement in performance compared to the regular i3.

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The i3s also comes with a sport mode for the driving modes selector. This sharpens throttle response and tightens the steering feel. The modifications made to the i3s mean the vehicle can reach 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, or 0.4 seconds less than the regular model. The top speed is 100 mph, up from 93 mph in the regular model.

In addition to a more aggressive look for the front and rear fascias, the i3s benefits from 10-millimeter lower sport-tuned suspension and a track that's been widened by 40 millimeters. The result is a much sportier stance compared to the regular i3.

Since there's been no change to the battery, the range likely matches the 2017 model's EPA-rated 114 miles. According to BMW, the i3s can hit 60 mph from a standstill in 6.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 100 mph, an improvement of 0.4 seconds and seven miles per hour over the regular i3.

The i3s is powered electrically by a 94 ampere-hour high voltage lithium ion battery developed in house at BMW. When running solely on the battery, the i3s has an effective range of 97 miles. However, BMW does offer the i3 with an optional 2-cylinder gasoline driven, range-extending, generator that can boost the i3s's range to a more useful 180 miles, eliminating some range anxiety in the process.

The i3s's cabin is loaded with BMW's latest tech goodies including the company'siDrive 6infotainment system running on a 10.25-inch wide screen. The car is eco-friendly as well, with 80% of the surfaces visible to passengers made from recycled or renewable materials.

The new BMW i3s will make their world debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Pricing for the i3s will be announced at a later date.


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