BMW Group Australia is proud to announce the i3 LCI and the sporty i3s will be available in dealerships nationally from January, 2018.

The updated i3 range features sleek new styling and an enhanced level of connectivity across the board, while the i3s brings a performance element to table for the first time, with more power and torque than ever before, as well as a SPORT driving mode.

Both the i3 LCI and the i3s will be available in two versions – Battery Electric Vehicle and Range Extender.

“The BMW i3 range has enjoyed refreshed interest since the upgraded 94Ah battery arrived in 2016, removing range anxiety,” said BMW Group Australia CEO, Marc Werner. “Now the ground-breaking premium electric i3 gains new styling and technological updates, as well as the exciting i3s sports model for the first time. Customers now have a great range of i3 options to choose from.”

BMW i3 LCI and i3s range pricing*

BMW i3 $68,700*
BMW i3 Range Extender $74,700*
BMW i3s $69,900*
BMW i3s Range Extender $75,900*

Modified design for sleek, sporty look

A number of deft touches have been added to the i3’s exterior styling to give the car an even more striking level of visual appeal. The trademark BMW i Black Belt now takes in the A-pillars and roof lines, adding to the sleek feel of the updated design.

The range of exterior paint finishes has also expanded and now includes Melbourne Red metallic and Imperial Blue metallic. Alongside these new additions, customers can also choose from the non-metallic shades Capparis White and Fluid Black, as well as Protonic Blue metallic and Mineral Grey metallic.

The restyling of the front and rear aprons places particular emphasis on creating a wider, sportier look. A chrome-design trim strip running across the full width of the rear and the positioning of the model and eDrive badges on the outer edges of the boot lid serves to reinforce the impression of width.

The new BMW i3 LCI and i3s also come equipped with all-LED headlights as standard, which employ LED bulb units for dipped beam and high beam, as well as the daytime running lights. The new turn signal indicators also feature LED technology, and are integrated into the front apron in the form of horizontal strips. The new BMW i3s is available with exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design, 20 millimetres wider than previously available. They can be ordered in the Bicolour and Jet Black finishes.

In terms of interior, the ‘Lodge’ equipment line is standard for the new i3 range, with the Loft style available as a no-cost alternative.

For the next level of interior ambience the Suite line is also available, featuring full natural leather upholstery. The Lodge interior design option includes a new covering for the seat surfaces in Solaric Brown, which combines natural leather tanned using an olive leaf extract with a wool-based textile material.

A new BMW i blue seat belt option provides a further splash of interior colour.

Emission-free fun at the wheel with sporty new power option

The new BMW i3 LCI comes powered by the proven 125kW electric motor package, with the 94Ah high-voltage battery. That means a range of 300 kilometres based on the NEDC cycle, or up to 200 kilometres in everyday use. The combined electric power consumption of the new BMW i3 LCI on the NEDC cycle varies between 13.6 and 13.1kWh for every 100 kilometres (depending on options).

The BMW i3s is powered by a sportier version of the electric motor package, with an updated drive system that includes modified motor control and specific taper roller bearings, utilised to further optimise power delivery and the performance curve at higher rpm.

That equals a power boost to 135kW, as well as increased torque (270Nm over 250Nm), a higher top speed (160km/h instead of 150km/h), and a 0-100km/h time of just 6.9sec (compared to 7.3sec for the LCI). The combined electric power consumption for the i3s is 14.3kWh per 100 kilometres on the NEDC cycle. The electric range runs to 280 kilometres based on the NEDC cycle, and up to 200 kilometres in everyday use.

The 28kW two-cylinder range extender petrol engine is available as an option for both the i3 LCI and the i3s, increasing everyday range by up to 130 kilometres.

A more dynamic driving experience with the i3s

The performance upgrades for the BMW i3s go far beyond the increased power. The sporty new model comes equipped as standard with sports suspension that includes a 10mm drop in ride height, with specially designed springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars. The additional 40mm track width compared to the i3 LCI is given added impact by the black wheel arch borders.

The i3s also features SPORT mode, which drivers can select with the Driving Experience Control switch. SPORT mode initiates more direct accelerator response and tighter steering characteristics, further accentuating the car’s dynamic feel.

Both the BMW i3 LCI and the i3s feature the further-optimised Dynamic Stability Control (DCS) system. This comprehensively revised, faster-acting traction control system guarantees confident handling under all driving conditions. The BMW i3 now features a globally unique form of wheel speed limiting that ensures increased directional stability, both under dynamic acceleration and on the overrun with strong regenerative braking.

Traction on wet roads has also been noticeably improved, with DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) mode helping boost agility at higher speeds and during sporty cornering, even allowing mild and safely controllable drifts when grip levels are reduced.

Improved iDrive system, better connectivity

Both the i3 LCI and the i3s come with iDrive6, the latest version of BMW’s ground-breaking operating system. This provides an intuitive interface for controlling numerous vehicle, infotainment, communications, and navigation functions. All BMW i3 models come equipped with the Navigation system Professional as standard, complete with a 10.25-inch Control Display that features an increased 1440 × 540 pixel resolution.

The voice recognition system has also been further optimised; with the use of Natural Language Understanding, spoken instructions can now be executed faster and more precisely when searching for music and phone numbers, or dictating eMails and SMS messages, for example.

New to the options list is optional Apple CarPlay preparation, which allows additional smartphone apps to be integrated seamlessly with the vehicle’s operating system. Uniquely, the BMW-Apple CarPlay interface is conducted wirelessly. The unrivalled BMW i ConnectedDrive system ensures intelligent connectivity through services specially tailored to electric mobility. The digital On-Street Parking Information search service, now available for the first time in the i3, works effectively with the Real Time Traffic Information system. Public charging stations and information about their availability can also be displayed on the navigation system’s map.

When route guidance is activated, data about the route is also used to calculate the range shown in the instrument cluster as accurately as possible. The range map provides a visual representation of the current operating radius. It is also possible to display the different ranges achievable in each of the Driving Experience Control modes.

BMW i-specific navigation features also include intermodal route guidance. This helps users to quickly and efficiently reach their destination by factoring in local public transport timetables and connections. Regular, automatic updates of the navigation data are now also provided ‘over the air’ in the BMW i3, using a mobile network connection.

The new services introduced in July 2017 under the BMW Connected+ banner, which enable a highly personalised and more straightforward display of information inside the car, will be available in the BMW i3 and BMW i3s.

These span intelligent route planning, including stop-offs at charging stations or petrol stations (Send my Routes to Car), sharing of the car’s current location via SMS and live link (Share Live Trip Status), personalised display of relevant in-car information (BMW Onboard), seamless transfer of route instructions to the customer’s smartphone or smartwatch once the car is parked (Navigate Door-to-Door) and direct syncing of contacts and addresses to the navigation system (My Destinations).

Future proof charging options

Equipped as standard with a Type 2 charging system, the BMW i3 LCI and i3s are designed to take advantage of the increasing DC charging infrastructure in the Australian market. In addition the i3 can accept three-phase AC charging for efficient replenishment at the home, office or public charging stations.

Condition Based Servicing

All maintenance requirements for the BMW i3 range are controlled by the Condition Based Servicing (CBS) system.

With CBS, sensors and advanced algorithms monitor and calculate the conditions in which a vehicle is used, including mileage, time elapsed since its last service, fuel consumption and how a vehicle is driven. Based on the information captured, maintenance requirements are determined, identifying whether an annual vehicle inspection or oil service is due.

Selected BMW service and maintenance costs can be covered by a single, one-off advance payment with BMW Service Inclusive (BSI), which is available in two packages: Basic or Plus.

*Manufacturer’s Recommended List Price is shown and includes GST and Luxury Car Tax (LCT) – if applicable, but excludes dealer charges, stamp duty, statutory charges and on-road charges, which are additional and vary between dealers and States/Territories. Customers are advised to contact their nearest BMW dealer for all pricing enquiries.

Fresh impetus for pure driving pleasure

The BMW i3 shows the way ahead to a new era of mobility. It is recognised the world over as a symbol of driving pleasure, sustainability and intelligent connectivity in the urban traffic environment, which is why it has become the best-selling electric car in the premium compact segment. The recipe for success of the BMW i3 has now been further improved, thanks not just to refreshing styling accents, cutting-edge equipment features and new digital services, but also to the addition of a new model variant. For making its debut alongside the new edition of the first ever premium car to be conceived from the outset for all-electric mobility is the BMW i3s.

With a higher output, model-specific chassis technology, noticeably more dynamic driving qualities and design features all of its own, it generates a particularly intense blend of the unrivalled sporty driving pleasure associated with electric cars from the BMW Group. By offering a premium-quality, all-electric driving experience, meaning zero local emissions, together with a whole new level of connectivity technology, both models represent the future of urban mobility.

The BMW i3 has reigned as the top-selling premium electric car in its class since 2014, not just in Europe but worldwide too. And in Germany, it has actually been topping the new vehicle registration statistics for the electric car segment as a whole, also since 2014. It’s not just the visionary electric vehicles and inspirational design that help to make BMW i so popular, but also its innovative mobility solutions and the revolutionary new form of premium character, with sustainability as a key defining element. By offering such products while also adopting an all-embracing approach that takes into account the complete lifecycle – from raw material production, through the manufacture and operation of the vehicles to their later recycling – the BMW i brand has established itself as a pioneer for forward-thinking mobility.

BMW eDrive electric motor in two output levels, high-voltage battery with large capacity of 94 Ah/33 kWh, optional range extender engine.

The driving experience in the BMW i models has played no small part in the growing appeal and popularity of electric mobility. Following systematic refinement, the BMW eDrive technology aboard the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s enables drivers to enjoy locally emission-free mobility with wonderfully instantaneous power delivery, efficient use of energy and an optimised range for a level of everyday practicality that even extends beyond the demands of purely urban travel. Both models draw their energy from the lithium-ion high-voltage battery developed by the BMW Group with a capacity of 94 ampere hours (Ah) or 33 kilowatt hours (kWh). A range extender engine can be ordered as an option for both the new BMW i3 and the new BMW i3s.

The new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s will celebrate their world premieres at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main in September 2017. The global market launch will begin in November 2017.

Design: sporty look.

The new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s have a remarkably dynamic character by premium compact electric car standards, and a number of design tweaks have been included to express this to particularly striking effect in their visual appearance too. The unmistakable, avant-garde exterior styling has already picked up the iF gold award for product design and the World Car Design of the Year award along with other accolades, and it has now been enhanced by a number of deft design touches that clearly convey the sporty and stirring driving experience on offer.

The trademark BMW i Black Belt running from the bonnet over the roof to the car’s rear end is now complemented by A-pillars and roof lines that also sport a black finish. The range of paint finishes for the remaining body elements has been extended to include Melbourne Red metallic and Imperial Blue metallic. Besides these two new additions, customers can also choose from the non- metallic shades Capparis White and Fluid Black as well as Protonic Blue metallic and Mineral Grey metallic.

The restyling of the front and rear aprons places particular emphasis on the car’s width, which has the effect of signalling just how sporty both models are to drive and how sure their handling is. A chrome-design trim strip running across the full width of the rear and the positioning of the model and eDrive badges on the outer edges of the boot lid serves to reinforce this impression.

The new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s come equipped with all-LED headlights as standard, which employ LED bulb units for dipped beam and high beam as well as the daytime running lights. The new turn signal indicators also feature LED technology and are integrated into the front apron in the form of horizontal strips. This means that LEDs are now used for all lighting functions at the front of the vehicle too, as was already the case with the glass-covered rear light assemblies.

The new BMW i3: new styling accents for a sense of sporty elegance.

The thoughtful evolution of the exterior design not only helps to bring the sporting credentials of the new BMW i3 more to the fore, but highlights its sophisticated elegance too. The front bumper is completely painted in the body colour and has a black U-shaped surround that reinforces the car’s presence when viewed from the front. Moving round to the rear end, the powerfully moulded contours and the contrast in colour between the black surround and the body-coloured inlay again create an energetic and expressive appearance.

The new silver-coloured roof line accent for the new BMW i3 adds a further touch of elegance and dynamism. It widens towards the rear, thereby accentuating the stream flow, as the distinctive outline of the side windows is known.

The new BMW i3s: a thoroughly dynamic performer.

The new BMW i3s incorporates a number of design elements all of its own that underscore its particularly dynamic character. Both the front and rear aprons are notable for their model-specific, powerfully shaped contours. At the front, the bumper inlay as well as the U-shaped surround encircling it have a black finish.

The front apron’s side sections are bordered on their lower edge by accent strips in BMW i Blue or Frozen Grey that further emphasise the width of the car. The accent in the closed BMW kidney grille is also painted in high-gloss black on the BMW i3s to give the grille a larger and more prominent appearance. The rear apron of the new BMW i3s is likewise composed of individually styled contours, while the black surround frames an extra-wide, body-coloured inlay. On the new BMW i3s, the roof line accent also sports the same high-gloss black finish as the A-pillars.

The new BMW i3s comes equipped as standard with sports suspension that includes a 10-millimetre drop in ride height. The additional 40 millimetres of track width compared to the BMW i3 is given added impact by the black wheel arch borders. The new BMW i3s is available with exclusive 20-inch light-alloy wheels in double-spoke design that are 20 millimetres wider than the previously available versions. They can be ordered in the Bicolour and Jet Black colour variants.

Interior: great sense of roominess, sustainable materials.

Like the exterior design, the interior styling of the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s is rooted in the novel LifeDrive vehicle architecture. The carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell has a wonderfully spacious feel about it and is dominated by a sense of lightness. The design principle of the two four-seater models means there is no need for either fixed B-pillars or a transmission tunnel. Doors that open in opposite directions allow the occupants to get in and out with the greatest of ease.

The Loft, Lodge and Suite equipment lines are available for the new BMW i3 and new BMW i3s as alternatives to the standard Atelier version. The Lodge interior design option includes a new covering for the seat surfaces in Solaric Brown that combines natural leather tanned using an olive leaf extract with a wool-based textile material.

The fact that the BMW i3 and BMW i3s also count sustainability among their premium characteristics shines through in the rest of the materials selected for them too, including recycled plastics, renewable raw materials, natural fibres and open-pored, unbleached eucalyptus wood. Over 80 percent of the surfaces visible to the passengers are made from recycled materials or renewable resources. The new blue seat belt option provides a splash of colour in the interior in typical brand style. The BMW i3s supplements all this with special model lettering on the front floor mats as standard.

The ground-breaking BMW i3 electric vehicle range has been expanded to four with the introduction of two additional variants that feature significantly increased battery capacity and range capability. As per the existing variants, the updated i3 – known as the 94Ah – is available in two versions: the Battery Electric Vehicle (EV) and the Range Extender.

BMW i3 range pricing:

  • BMW i3 Electric Vehicle: $63,900*
  • BMW i3 with Range Extender: $69,900*
  • BMW i3 94Ah Electric Vehicle: $65,900*
  • BMW i3 94Ah with Range Extender: $71,900*

Best of both worlds: 94 Ampere-hours battery increases range capability while also improving efficiency

The BMW i3 94Ah embodies BMW i’s latest innovations in providing the cleanest urban driving experience possible. As a result, the BMW i3 94Ah continues to score significantly better than a modern diesel or petrol-engined car in the overall CO2 balance, where factors such as supply chain, production, service life and recycling are considered.

In the updated i3 application, the high-voltage lithium-ion battery consists of eight modules with twelve storage cells located within each module. Cooled via the air-conditioning’s coolant system, the cell-internal packages have been optimised with increased electrolytes, resulting in a gross battery energy increase to 33kWh, of which 27kWh can be effectively used. For reference, the existing i3’s 60Ah capacity produces 22kWh gross with 19kWh of useable energy.

For the new i3 94Ah in EV form, the NEDC cycle range rated at 310km, while real-world range in everyday conditions – using equipment such as air-conditioning and the audio system – is up to 200km. Electricity consumption has also improved by 0.3kWh/100km, to 12.6kWh/100km; further proof of the BMW i engineer’s labours.

Opting for the new i3 94Ah Range Extender increases the NEDC-rated range to 390km, thanks to the addition of a two-cylinder petrol-powered combustion engine. This translates to a real-world figure of 330km. Fuel consumption as per NEDC is 0.6L/100km on the combined cycle, with 11.3kWh/100km electricity consumption.

Showcasing a continued thirst for innovation, BMW i and technology partner Samsung SDI have managed to realise the substantial battery capacity increase despite unchanged exterior dimensions, thanks to continued investment in the latest lithium-ion battery technologies. This success also proves the future-focused, adaptable design of the i3’s CFRP architecture, itself a world-first in a volume production vehicle upon release.

As before, the vehicle is designed to allow a single battery module to be exchanged if a fault is detected. If a fault develops, this saves cost and time over a complete battery replacement. This is a stand-alone feature within the competitive field and represents an integral component of the holistic BMW i concept of sustainability.

Importantly, the battery pack is designed to last the entirety of the i3 94Ah’s service life, but for further peace of mind all BMW i3 customers receive an eight-year or 100,000km battery warranty.

Synchronous electric motor delivers instant torque and strong performance

The BMW i3 94Ah’s eDrive synchronous electric motor generates 125kW of power with an instantaneous 250Nm of torque. Drive is taken to the rear wheels via a single-speed automatic transmission that enables uninterrupted torque delivery to the limited 150km/h top speed. Weighing 1,245kg, the new i3 sprints to 100km/h in only 7.3 seconds in pure Electric Vehicle form, and its performance is delivered with a smooth efficiency that is unique to the BMW i3.

Thanks to instantaneous torque delivery and constant drive, the i3 94Ah can also accelerate between 80-120km/h in only 5.1 seconds, figures that are on-par with the BMW 440i Coupe. Opting for the i3 with Range Extender adds an efficient 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine, located above the rear axle and generating 28kW. This smooth, quiet small-capacity petrol engine powers the generator and operates on a needs base, extending total range by up to 130 kilometres in everyday operation.

Fed by a nine-litre fuel tank, the i3 94Ah Range Extender tips the scales at an additional 120kg over the EV (1,365kg). Thanks to the fuel tank’s position at the front of the vehicle, luggage volume is unchanged at 260 litres, which can be extended to 1,100 litres with the rear seats folded down.

The BMW i3 94Ah Range Extender accelerates from zero to 100km/h in 8.1 seconds, while consuming a scant 0.6L/100km and producing CO2 emissions of just 12g/km.

Charging options to suit your lifestyle

BMW Group Australia recommends the BMW i customers install a BMW i Wallbox Pure (available through BMW Genuine Accessories) for the most effective home charging solution. This system allows for up to 3.7kWh of charging at 16 amps, allowing the i3’s upgraded 94Ah battery pack to be conveniently charged at your home or office. Using this method, a charge from zero to 80 per cent battery capacity can be accomplished in less than eight hours.

Via BMW’s 360° ELECTRIC program and its partnership with ChargePoint, i3 94Ah owners can access ChargePoint public charging facilities. Many of these facilities can be used free-of-charge, though a supplied ChargeNow card also supplies a cashless payment option where required.

This arrangement allows access to charging power of up to 7.4kWh at 32 amps, for superefficient charging – an 80 per cent charge is completed in around four hours. An Occasional Use Cable is supplied as standard and enables charging via a domestic socket. Charging power is set at a maximum of 1.8kWh at 8 amps. Expected charge time (up to 80 per cent) is set at 14 hours via this method. Also fitted as standard is DC Rapid Charging capability, ensuring the BMW i3 94Ah will be fully compatible with future DC charging infrastructure. This is capable of supporting charge rates of up to 50kWh with no further modification to the vehicle.

BMW i3 94Ah charging times (for Zero - 80 per cent charge)

Method

Charge rate

Time

BMW i Wallbox
(recommended)

Up to 3.7kWh at 16 amps

Up to eight hours

ChargePoint public facility

Up to 7.4kWh at 32 amps

Up to four hours

Occasional use cable

Maximum 1.8kWh at 8
amps

Up to 14 hours

DC charger

Up to 50kWh at 125 amps

Up to 40 minutes

LifeDrive architecture: High rigidity and light weight for maximum efficiency, safety and agility

Already familiar in the BMW i3 60Ah, the LifeDrive architecture of the new i3 94Ah models combine a lightweight, rigid CFRP ‘Life’ Module with an aluminium Drive module housing the drive elements. The CFRP module of the i3 94Ah reduces weight by up to 350kg over a comparable steel design, vastly improving efficiency as a result. In addition, the Life structure is highly rigid, removing the need for b-pillars and using ‘coach’ door hinges to aid interior access while retaining high levels of safety.

As well as aiding efficiency and safety a lightweight, rigid structure also provides the i3 94Ah a strong basis for the agile, rear-drive handling dynamics expected of a BMW. For the i3 94Ah Electric Vehicle, the weight distribution is 53 per cent rear / 47 per cent front, ensuring strong response and traction. The Range Extender’s weight sits at 55.7 per cent rear / 44.3 per cent front respectively.

Both i3 94Ah models have electrically-assisted power steering employing a 14:1 ratio with 2.5 turns lock-to-lock. The 9.86m turning circle is perfect for urban life. Alloy wheels, measuring 19 inches in diameter, are fitted all-round with low rolling-resistance tyres measuring 155/70/R19 up-front and 175/60R19 in the rear.

Sustainability beyond the vehicle

Of course, the latest i3 retains all the sustainability cues of the original. The Leipzig production plant, where the i3 is built, uses 50 per cent less energy and 70 per cent less water than the average BMW Group figures, with 100 per cent renewable energy powering the plant thanks to four wind turbines. Likewise, the construction of the CFRP architecture at Landshut is powered by 100 per cent wind turbine energy.

Additionally 80 per cent of the aluminium used in the i3’s construction is either recycled or produced with renewable energy.

Spacious interior follows premium sustainability theme, offers everyday practicality

Following the core premium sustainability theme, the i3 94Ah’s interior is spacious, airy and luxurious. The vehicle’s green credentials are immediately reinforced, with recycled polyester seat trims and seat covers incorporating 40 per cent pure new wool. Sustainable eucalyptus features on interior and dash trims and olive leaf extract is used to naturally tan interior leathers. With the upgraded battery fitting into the existing space and no need for a raised transmission tunnel, the BMW i3 94Ah, the interior remains a comfortable place.

Dimensionally, the i3 94Ah offers 1361mm front shoulder width and 1250mm in the rear. Effective legroom is set at 1029mm and 810mm respectively, with 1007mm and 946mm front and rear headroom available.

Luggage capacity remains at 260L with the rear seats folded up, expanding to an impressive 1100L with the 50:50 split-fold second-row seats laid flat. An additional 35L storage can be accessed under the bonnet.

Premium equipment and key option packages add further presence

In a direct display of BMW i lineage, the BMW i3 94Ah will be offered with a Protonic Blue exterior paint option. This metallic finish, further enhanced with Frozen Grey metallic highlights, has until now been the preserve of the BMW i8 hybrid sports car. Two non-metallic (Capparis White and Fluid Black) and three additional metallic colours (Mineral Grey, Platinum Silver and Iconic Silver) will also be available from launch.

BMW Australia also offers three distinct interior designs.

The standard Lodge specification features the following:

  • ‘Solaric’ upholstery in woolen cloth/Cassia natural leather
  • Door panels in grey cloth
  • Door inserts in Cassia natural leather
  • Instrument panel in Walknappa Carum Spice Grey leather
  • Interior trim in Fine-wood Eucalyptus matt
  • Steering wheel in Carum Spice Grey with satin silver contrast ring
  • Floor mats, roofliner and global colour in Carum Spice Grey

Available as a no-cost option, the Loft interior design offers:

  • ‘Electronic’ upholstery in Carum Spice Grey cloth/Sensatec
  • Door panels in Carum Spice Grey cloth
  • Instrument panel Carum Spice Grey
  • Interior trim in Andesite Dark matt
  • Steering wheel in Carum Spice Grey with BMW i Blue contrast ring
  • Floor mats, roofliner and global colour in Carum Spice Grey

The upmarket Suite theme is available for $1,538 (including GST, excluding LCT) and brings:

  • ‘Stellaric’ upholstery in Dalbergia Brown natural leather
  • Door panels Dalbergia Brown cloth
  • Door and side trims in Exclusive natural leather
  • Instrument panel in Exclusive Dalbergia Brown natural leather
  • Interior trim in Fine-wood Oak dark matt – exclusive to 94Ah models
  • Steering wheel with Satin Silver contrast ring
  • Floor mats and global colour in Black
  • Roofliner in Carum Spice Grey
  • LED lighting orange/white for door pull handle, front and rear
  • LED lighting orange/white for front map pockets

All BMW i3 variants include the iDrive operation system, Navigation System Professional, the BMW i RemoteApp functionalities, auxiliary heating, Driving Experience switch, Radio Professional, hands-free telephone operation, air conditioning, leather steering wheel, LED daytime driving lights, front and rear Park Distance Control (PDC) with rear sensors and the charging cable for connecting to a domestic power socket as standard equipment.

Solely available on the i3 94Ah variants (optional on i3 60Ah) is the future-proof DC charging system. The Innovations Option Package is also exclusively available on 94Ah variants.

Consisting of Comfort Access, LED Headlights with automatic throw-beam control and Driving Assistant Plus (a camera-based system consisting of forward collision warning, pedestrian warning, active cruise control with stop & go function, and tyre pressure monitor) the Innovations Package combines these popular options for a bundled cost of $2,700 (including GST, excluding LCT).

*Please refer to the included vehicle specification guide for a complete list of standard equipment and options.

Next-level connectivity

BMW’s i ConnectedDrive Services offering is specifically tailored to the i3 range. In conjunction with the Navigation System Professional, the BMW i ConnectedDrive Services suite can provide ‘green’ information, such as the location of public charging stations along the planned route, while also providing a range map to minimise range anxiety.

BMW i ConnectedDrive Services is a dynamic system that provides driver assistance using live information such as the current charging status of the battery, the driving style, the activated electric comfort functions and the selected driving mode, Real Time Traffic Information and the outside temperature, thanks to intelligent state-of-the-art BMW ConnectedDrive systems.

Linking the BMW i3 to your smartphone via the USB connector also enables access to a range of informative third-party apps, via the BMW Connected App. Programs such as Spotify, Pandora and Stitcher open a new world of media to the i3’s cockpit. Augmenting these in-car services is the BMW i Remote App, which brings vehicle-related mobility planning data to a Smartphone.

The BMW i Remote App allows owners to pre-condition their i3 before they enter the cabin. The app also provides remote lock and unlock functions, efficiency history, current range and charge statuses and a ‘destination send’ navigational capability.

BMW Service Inclusive: Peace-of-mind after the purchase

Like all BMWs, the i3 94Ah offers condition-based servicing and falls under the BMW i Service Inclusive programme. With BSI, purchasers can make a one-off upfront payment to cover their servicing costs for a period of time. In the BMW 94Ah application, the BSI Basic package costs only $850 for five years or 80,000km, whichever comes first.

The BMW i3 electric vehicle range has been expanded to four with the introduction of two additional variants that feature significantly increased battery capacity and range capability. As per the existing variants, the updated i3 is available in two versions: the Battery Electric Vehicle (EV) and the Range Extender.

“BMW remains at the forefront of providing e-mobility solutions, and the upgraded battery package of the latest BMW i3 is proof of this,” said BMW Australia Managing Director Marc Werner. “It reinforces the BMW i brand’s innovative strength and builds on the positive reactions drawn from the recently-launched iPerformance vehicles; products that directly benefit from the work done at BMW i.”

Updated BMW i3 range pricing:

BMW i3: $63,900*
BMW i3 with Range Extender: $69,900*
BMW i3 94Ah Electric Vehicle: $65,900*
BMW i3 94Ah with Range Extender: $71,900*

New battery increases capacity and range capability while improving efficiency

The new i3s embody the BMW i engineering team’s latest thinking on innovative EV technology.

The increased battery capacity of 94 Ampere-hours (hence the name) has been realised despite unchanged exterior dimensions, proving the progress made on lithium-ion battery technology by BMW and technology partner Samsung SDI, as well as the future-focused, adaptable design of the i3’s CFRP architecture. As before, the vehicle is designed to allow a single battery module to be exchanged if a fault is detected. If a fault develops, this saves cost and time over a complete battery replacement. This is a stand-alone feature within the competitive field and represents an integral component of the holistic BMW i concept of sustainability.

The BMW i3 94Ah continues to score significantly better than a modern diesel or petrol-engined car in the overall CO2 balance consisting of supply chain, production, service life and recycling. In the updated i3 application, the high-voltage battery consists of eight modules with twelve storage cells each. Cooled via the air-conditioning’s coolant system, the cell-internal packages have been optimised with increased electrolytes and the resultant gross battery energy has been increased to 33kWh, of which 27kWh can be effectively used. For reference, the existing i3’s 60Ah capacity produces 22kWh gross and with 19kWh of useable energy.

For the new i3 94Ah in EV form, the NEDC cycle range rated at 310km, while real-world range in everyday conditions – using equipment such as air-conditioning and the audio system – is up to 200km. Electricity consumption is 12.6kWh/100km. Opting for the new i3 94Ah Range Extender increases the NEDC-rated range to 390km, thanks to the addition of a two-cylinder petrol-powered combustion engine. This translates to a real-world figure of 320km.

Fuel consumption as per NEDC is 0.6L/100km on the combined cycle, with 11.3kWh electricity consumption. Customers receive an eight-year or 100,000km battery warranty, whichever comes first. The battery pack is also designed to last the entirety of the i3 94Ah’s service life. 

Charging options to suit your lifestyle

For the Australian market, the BMW i3 94Ah is capable of being charged through a ‘Type 1’ connector, the standard used by the majority of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in this country. BMW Group Australia recommends the BMW i customers install a BMW i Wallbox Pure (available through BMW Genuine Accessories) for the most effective home charging solution. This system allows for up to 3.7kW of charging at 16 amps, allowing the i3’s upgraded 94Ah battery pack to be conveniently charged at your home or office. Using this method, a charge from zero to 80 per cent battery capacity can be accomplished in less than eight hours.

Via BMW’s 360° ELECTRIC program and its partnership with ChargePoint, i3 94Ah owners can access ChargePoint public charging facilities. Many of these facilities can be used free-of-charge, though a supplied ChargeNow card also supplies a cashless payment option where required.

This arrangement allows access to charging power of up to 7.4kW at 32 amps, for super-efficient charging – an 80 per cent charge is completed in around four hours. An Occasional Use Cable is supplied as standard and enables charging via a domestic socket. Default charging power is set at 1.4kW at 6 amps, with a maximum of 1.8kW at 8 amps. Expected charge time (to 80 per cent) is set at 14 hours via this method.

Also fitted as standard is DC Rapid Charging capability, ensuring the BMW i3 94Ah will be fully compatible with future DC charging infrastructure that will be capable of charge rates up to 50kWh.

Exceptional agility, impressive acceleration 

At the core of the BMW i3 94Ah is the innovative carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) architecture. The CFRP Life module reduces the i3 94Ah’s weight by some 350kg over a comparable steel design, aiding efficiency, range, agility and performance. The new i3 94Ah’s synchronous electric motor generates 125kW of power with an instantaneous 250Nm of torque. Drive is taken to the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission that enables uninterrupted torque delivery to the limited 150km/h top speed. Weighing 1245kg, the latest i3 sprints to 100km/h in only 7.3 seconds, and its performance is delivered with a smooth efficiency that is unique to the BMW i3.

Opting for the Range Extender adds an efficient 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine, located above the rear axle and generating 28kW. This operates a generator to produce electricity and operates on a needs base, extending total range by 120 kilometres in everyday operation. Fed by a nine-litre fuel tank, the Range Extender tips the scales an additional 120kg over the EV. Thanks to the fuel tank’s position at the front of the vehicle, luggage volume is unchanged at 260 litres – which can be extended to 1,100 litres with the rear seats folded down. 

Zero to 100km/h acceleration is achieved in 8.1 seconds, with CO2 emissions listed at 12g/km. With a low centre of gravity, carbon fibre-reinforced plastic architecture and rear-drive dynamics, the BMW i3 94Ah remains a truly engaging drive, in the best BMW tradition.

Sustainability beyond the vehicle

Of course, the latest i3 retains all the sustainability cues of the original. The Leipzig production plant, where the i3 is built, uses 50 per cent less energy and 70 per cent less water than the average BMW Group figures, with 100 per cent renewable energy powering the plant thanks to four wind turbines. Likewise, the construction of the CFRP architecture at Landshut is powered by 100 per cent wind turbine energy.

Additionally 80 per cent of the aluminium used in the i3’s construction is either recycled or produced with renewable energy. Seat trims are made of completely-recycled polyester, sustainable eucalyptus features on interior and dash trims, olive leaf extract is used to naturally tan interior leathers and the seat cover features 40 per cent pure new wool.

Standard specification retains sustainable premium feel

In a direct display of BMW i lineage, the BMW i3 94Ah will be offered with a Protonic Blue exterior paint option. This metallic finish, further enhanced with Frozen Grey metallic highlights, has until now been the preserve of the BMW i8 hybrid sports car. Two non-metallic (Capparis White and Fluid Black) and three additional metallic colours (Mineral Grey, Platinum Silver and Iconic Silver) will also be available from launch. BMW Australia will also offer three interior designs, ranging from the Loft specification, through Lodge to the up-market Suite; complete with Dark Oak wood trim fitted as part of this package. Eucalyptus wood trim, as well as Dark Oak, are also available with the other trim lines.

In any i3 interior, one can expect a mix of naturally-treated leathers, wood, wool and other renewable raw materials, further highlighting the sustainable premium character inherent in the BMW i3. The standard specification of these new i3 variants largely match that of the existing vehicles, with highlights including Navigation System Professional with specific BMW i ConnectedDrive Services content. This includes public charging stations displayed along the planned route, with a range map also included.

BMW i ConnectedDrive Services is a dynamic system that provides driver assistance using live information such as the current charging status of the battery, the driving style, the activated electric comfort functions and the selected driving mode, Real Time Traffic Information and the outside temperature, thanks to intelligent state-of-the-art BMW ConnectedDrive systems.

Linking the BMW i3 to your smartphone via the USB connector also enables access to a range of informative third-party apps, via the BMW Connected App. Programs such as Spotify, Pandora and Stitcher open a new world of media to the i3’s cockpit. Augmenting these in-car services is the BMW i Remote App, which brings vehicle-related mobility planning data to a Smartphone. 

The BMW i Remote App allows owners to pre-condition their i3 before they enter the cabin. The app also provides remote lock and unlock functions, efficiency history, current range and charge statuses and a ‘destination send’ navigational capability. All BMW i3 variants include the iDrive operation system, the BMW i RemoteApp functionalities, auxiliary heating, Driving Experience switch, Radio Professional, hands-free telephone operation, air conditioning, leather steering wheel, LED daytime driving lights, front and rear Park Distance Control (PDC) with rear sensors and the charging cable for connecting to a domestic power socket as standard equipment.