2017 BMW i3: Greater range, new colors

By Bob Nagy on May 2, 2016 3:00 PM

Adding more appeal to its diminutive EV, the 2017 BMW i3 will be getting an upgraded lithium-ion battery that boasts 94 ampere hours of capacity in its cells and has 33kWh of storage up from 60Ah/22kWh with the existing pack. BMW says the additional output is a good for a range of 114 miles, an increase of 33 miles and seven miles more than the rival Nissan Leaf. In addition to the battery upgrade, the 2017 BMW i3 offers an expanded roster of comfort, design and convenience features.

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Like the original, this longer-range BMW i3 will be fitted with the same 170-horsepower AC synchronous motor that develops 184 lb-ft of torque and will hustle from 0-60 mph in just over 7.0 seconds and reach a top speed of 93 mph. With a projected consumption of 27kWh/100 miles, BMW anticipates it will be both the sportiest and the most efficient EV in its segment. The 2017 BMW i3 also will be offered in a Range Extender model that enjoys longer-distance benefits on both sides of the motive equation. In addition to the more powerful battery, the size of the fuel tank that holds gasoline to power its 650cc/2-cylinder 38-horse “generator” has been increased by 25 percent to 2.4 gallons which will let it travel even further. Despite being 270 pounds heavier than the pure EV model, it still can hit the 60 mph acceleration benchmark in 8.0 seconds. Equally impressive, despite its extra capacity, the i3s new, 8-module 94Ah battery pack fits in the same underfloor space as the 60Ah unit.

New colors, features

The 2017 BMW i3 revamp offers additional exterior color choices highlighted by the Protonic Blue Metallic that was previously available only on the BMW i8 as well as Capparis White and Fluid Black solids or Mineral Grey, Platinum Silver and Ionic Silver metallic. Inside, the Deka World trim with its dark-cloth fabric becomes part of the i3’s standard equipment which also adds a Universal Garage Door Opener, Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information, and Comfort Access system. New Dark Oak and Light Eucalyptus wood can be had as part of both the i3’sTera World and Giga World trims for 2017. The i3 will finally offer an electric moonroof option here in the U.S.

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One additional available option set to arrive late this year is the new BMW Home Charger Connect. This residential charging station is designed for fast and convenient charging. Equipped with Wi-Fi and offering a selection of innovative charging/ancillary service capabilities that can be accessed remotely. The 2017 BMW i3 arrives here this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

More EVs and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles…

The BMW 330e Plug-in Hybrid joins the 3 Series family for 2016

The all-new 2016 Chevy Volt earns 106 MPGe EPA marks

2016 Kia Soul EV expands its market reach

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