i3 extends its appeal
We mentioned in a few months back but we’ve now had official confirmation – the i3 has been endowed with a larger battery and can now travel 195 miles on a single charge in everyday driving conditions which should go a long way to allaying range anxiety fears. The i3 94AH replaces the current 60Ah version and has a capacity of 33kWh thanks to the higher storage density of its lithium ion cells. While the car has a more than 50 per cent increase in its range the battery dimensions remain unchanged making the i3 as practical as ever. Performance is just as sprightly as before, with a 0-62mph time of just 7.3 seconds thanks to its 170hp electric motor while its top speed is 93mph. The higher output batteries will be available in both the pure electric version as well as the range extender model too. The latter has slightly slower acceleration at 8.1 seconds for the 0-62mph dash but it’s capable of travelling 276 miles on a full battery and a full fuel tank.
At the same time as the improvement in the car’s range BMW says there’s been an increase in efficiency too and BMW reckons that if charged using a low charging tariff the cost per mile for an electric i3 would equate to running a diesel car that’s capable of returning 470.8mpg. The Range Extender model has also seen a reduction in its emissions to just 12g/km of CO2. In addition to this, the new model also benefits from improved efficiency and DC Rapid-charge as standard. AC charging is now multi-phase allowing charging of 3.7, 7.4 or 11 kW, representing a 50 percent increase compared to the previous i3 60Ah. This means the charging time for the new 94Ah i3 is less than three hours, in spite of the significantly larger battery capacity. It can also be charged at home using a standard three-pin plug or by specifying a BMW i Wallbox.
As well as the hike in battery output there have also been a few changes to the spec of the i3, too. Protonic blue has been added to the colour palette – previously only available on the i8 – and there’s a new Atelier interior world that comes as standard. This features Neutronic cloth in Aragats Grey with BMW i Blue highlights on the front seats and black leather steering wheel.
The new i3s go on sale in July and are priced at £27,830 for the fully electric version and £30,980 for the Range Extender – both prices including the £4500 OLEV Government grant.