BMW South Africa continues to tinker with its i3 electric car range, publishing pricing for the new i3s derivative while also upgrading the standard i3 variant to a hefty 120 Ah battery.
The facelifted i3 hit local shores as recently as June 2018, using a 94 Ah lithium-ion battery. But now the tweaked version, which upgrades to a 120 Ah unit, has been listed on BMW SA’s website along with two “sportier” i3s derivatives.
Thanks to the larger cell capacity of the new battery, the Munich-based brand claims a “significantly enhanced” range.
The base i3 is now priced at R639 300, while the REx version (with its range-extending petrol that functions as a generator when the battery nears depletion) comes in at R719 100. The i3s, meanwhile, starts at R697 700, with the range-extender version of this model priced at R777 500.
In the case of the i3, a synchronous electric motor still generates 125 kW and 250 N.m, facilitating a claimed zero to 100 km/h time of 7,3 seconds (in the pure-electric i3) and a limited top speed of 150 km/h. BMW says the lithium-ion high-voltage battery sited in the vehicle floor provides a range of up to 359 km (previously 300 km).
The i3s, meanwhile, boasts 135 kW and 270 N.m, hitting three figures in a claimed 6,9 seconds and topping out at 160 km/h. Claimed range comes in at 345 km (previously 280 km).
BMW claims the i3s will even drift thanks to its “comprehensively revised” dynamic stability control system which boosts “agility at higher speeds and during sporty cornering, even allowing mild and safely controllable drifts when grip levels are reduced”.
Interestingly, the i3s also boasts sports suspension (which results in a 10 mm drop in ride height) with specially developed springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. In addition, drivers can select sport mode, which the automaker says initiates “more direct accelerator response and tighter steering characteristics”.
This model also gains an additional 40 mm of track width compared to the standard i3, along with black wheel-arch borders. The 20-inch light-alloy wheels are likewise 20 mm wider than previously available versions. The BMW i3s furthermore boasts model-specific front and rear aprons, complete with accent strips and yet more gloss-black trim.