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By Jason Siu

BMW has updated its electric i3 and has added a sportier model to the lineup.

Set to debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the refreshed 2018 BMW i3 receives sportier styling with redesigned front and rear bumpers. Overall, the i3 has a wider appearance, while the front bumper inlay and its U-shaped surrounding have a new black finish. The side sections up front are bordered on their lower edge with accents strips finished in either BMW i Blue or Frozen Grey, further emphasizing the width of the car.

More interesting is the new BMW i3s model that features a sport suspension that brings the electric car almost 0.4 inches (10 millimeters) closer to the ground. The high-gloss black wheel arch moldings emphasize the nearly 1.6-inch (40-mm) wider track compared to the standard BMW i3. The model also comes standard with exclusive 20-inch wheels finished in bicolor double-spoke design and are 0.5-inch wider than what was previously available.

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The BMW i3s is also the most powerful BMW i3 to date with 184 horsepower, compared to the standard model’s 170-hp figure. Its peak torque is 199 pound-feet compared to 184 lb-ft. According to the German automaker, at the limits of the motor speed range, the power and the torque of the enhanced drive system on the BMW i3s show an improvement of up to 40 percent. All said, the model is capable of going zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds on its way to a 100-mph top speed.

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Preliminary figures have the BMW i3 getting approximately 97 miles on a single charge. All models can be had with a two-cylinder range-extender gasoline engine that increases the car’s overall range in daily use by 87 miles, bringing it to around 180 miles.

Both models come standard with full LED headlights, and BMW has announced the addition of two new colors: Melbourne Red Metallic and Imperial Blue Metallic. Also available is a new exclusive cloth-leather trim combination of Giga Brown Natural Leather and Carum Spice Grey Cloth.

Pricing for the 2018 BMW i3 and i3s will be announced closer to their market launch.


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