2018 BMW i3S Debuts With Upgraded Motor, Sportier Styling

The 2018 BMW i3 and i3S have been given an early unveiling by Automobile Magazine.

Set to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the all-new i3S features an upgraded electric motor that reportedly produces 184 hp (137 kW) and 199 lb-ft (269 Nm) of torque – an increase of 14 hp (10 kW) and 15 lb-ft (20 Nm).

Besides the upgraded engine, the i3S rides on a sport-tuned suspension that reduces the ride height by approximately half an inch (12.7 mm). The model also comes equipped with 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels that are slightly wider than the ones on the standard i3.

Speaking of the exterior, both models adopt a new front bumper with restyled fog lights. The standard i3 has chunky plastic body cladding but that’s thankfully absent on the i3S which has black accents and metallic trim.

The interior largely carries over but the optional Giga World trim now boasts Giga Brown Natural Leather and Carum Spice Grey Wool Cloth. Elsewhere, drivers will find the latest iDrive infotainment system with Apple CarPlay compatibility.

The i3’s electric-only range remains unchanged but the car comes with an improved charging cable that enables the battery to be completely replenished in just three hours. This is reportedly five times faster than the previous Level 1 charging cable.

Update:
BMW has released official pictures of the models and confirmed the i3S can accelerate from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 6.9 seconds before hitting a limited top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph). When equipped with the optional range-extending engine, the dash from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) takes 7.7 seconds and its top speed remains unchanged.

This means the i3S is 0.8 seconds than the standard model and has a top speed that has been increased by 10 km/h (6 mph).

Photo Gallery

  • Mike Gonzalez

    Still ugly. They didn’t get the memo, no one buys mini vans in Europe anymore, even great looking mini vans like the Renault Scenic struggles to sell like they used to years ago

    • TheBelltower

      What are you talking about?

    • jfalckt

      It’s not a particularly big market I know but here in Norway this car has regularly been one top 3 best selling cars (all cars, not just Electric) for the last 3 or so years, they are everywhere, especially in cities/towns. It also is very popular in Denmark and The Netherlands.
      As far as I know this is not an MPV/Minivan but a city segment car. As to it being ugly, well yes it’s no classic beauty but it’s refreshing, and the popularity of it is lessening the weirdness.

    • JustBeingHonest

      I’m band on rap up but despacito is gonna be # 1 next week and ur last name gonzalez , Taylor swift new song is a flop and Mariah can’t sing anymore

  • salamOOn

    i like the red one…..

  • sidewaysspin

    Battery completely replenished in just three hours…You could refuel a diesel aircraft carrier in that time.

    • S3XY

      You charge while you are asleep. 3 hours is fast.

  • Shtekeris

    Still giving birth to another baby car in the lower back, so cute.

  • eb110americana

    I’ve always liked the interior of the i3, particularly the horizontal, open-pore wood on the dashboard. This one looks even nicer, but the exterior is still dumpy enough that I would never consider one. Even the exotic proportioned i8 is too much of a mess to be pretty.

  • TheBelltower

    The new charger isn’t magic. It simply allows the plug to use either 120V or 240V outlets.

  • INTERIOR IS NICE. OUTSIDE IS STILL UGLY. ESPECIALLY WITH THE TWO TONE PAINT WHICH ACCENTUATES THE HORRIBLE BODY LINES.

    • casho2015

      Shout louder!!!!

      • Tumbi Mtika

        Smartass detected.

      • WHAT’S THIS CUTE LITTLE ICON OVER HERE? OH IT SAYS “BLOCK USER” LET ME SEE WHA…

  • Kash

    That gear shifter looks like a tumor on the side of the steering column.

  • Six_Tymes

    “Sportier Styling” BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!

  • Honda NSX-R

    The BMW i3S is supposedly sportier yet it still has awfully skinny tires.

    • Axiom Ethos

      Probably needed so they can fit as big of a battery as possible so as not to have utterly worthless range. But then again, they could have made the car a bit bigger all around to avoid that.

      • Matt

        ‘Making the car a bit bigger all round’ would have meant designing an all-new car. I think they took the easier option considering this is effectively a face-lift.

  • Lucas Mattos Azevedo

    Amazing, this car realy looks better live than in pictures.
    But this black plastic things on the bumper was unnecessary.

  • DJ

    Can I get that interior on a Tesla ? Tesla could take some hints on interior materials from them. Its a shame the inside and the outside are so at odds with each other.

    • TheBelltower

      I love the exterior. It’s weird, but I really think it’s much more modern than a crappy 3 series or the endless trail of 3 series wannabes.

  • Christian

    Can’t wait for the Mi3 with a 5-liter V8! :p

  • Tumbi Mtika

    It’s still f*cking ugly.

    0 for 2, BMW.

    • steve

      That’s exactly what I was going to write!!

    • TheBelltower

      But dontcha just want to give it a hug?

      • Tumbi Mtika

        Nope. I want to redesign it.

        • TheBelltower

          Except for the goofy kink along the rear side window, this is just a hatchback. A very sophisticated hatchback.

  • Bob White

    Ugly cars don’t sell and the ones with ridiculous range even less.

    • TheBelltower

      I have one. I do love it. Yes it’s goofy looking. And the range is inexcusable for an EV in 2018. A sub 200 mile range (sub 120 mile range, actually) is going to end up being a squandered opportunity. I was hoping that BMW would do much better with this update.

      • Bob White

        I have to admit that the way the chassis is constructed demonstrates several significant innovations. And they are being incorporated into the rest of the BMW line.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDr4L6BzpP8

      • Bob White
      • Bob White

        I have to admit that the way the chassis is constructed demonstrates several significant innovations. And they are being incorporated into the rest of the BMW line.

        This site won’t allow me to post a link but google Autoline after hours 284 and they discuss an i3 teardown with Sandy Munro.

        • TheBelltower

          I’ve seen that. That video is what convinced me to take an i3 for a test drive. You’re seeing how the R&D from the i3 is now filtering into the development of their mainstream cars.