In August 2017, the facelifted BMW i3 electric car was revealed, with the Munich-based brand also adding a new, sportier i3s derivative to the range.
Now, the updated i3 has officially launched in South Africa, priced from R637 300 for the pure-electric i3 and R717 100 for the i3 REx (with a range-extending petrol that functions as a generator when the battery nears depletion). These figures are a little higher than we previously reported, largely thanks to the VAT rate increase that kicked in at the start of April 2018.
Interesting options include 20-inch alloys (R19 700), a sunroof (R14 300), a park assist package (R14 000), seat heating (R4 500), Apple CarPlay preparation (R4 300) and the brand's R14 500 Professional navigation system (Business navigation is standard).
Pricing for the sportier i3s derivative, meanwhile, has yet to be released, as last we heard, this model is scheduled to arrive in South Africa only in the fourth quarter of the year.
The changes that accompany the facelift are fairly minimal. Styling updates include a new black finish for the A-pillars, fresh exterior paint options, LED headlamps as standard, restyled front (with new LED indicators) and rear aprons and some added chrome.
The powertrains of the BMW i3 and i3 REx remain untouched. 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 300 km.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.