The words “sport” and “electric car” are rarely used in the same sentence – with the exception of cars like the Tesla Model S, BMW i8 and even the Acura NSX. Now BMW wants to change that with the 2018 BMW i3s, a sexier, sportier version of the i3 electric car.
Last year the BMW i3 received a nice battery upgrade for the 2017 model year and this year, part of the upgrades include the introduction of the i3s. For starters, the i3s isn’t going to speed past a Tesla Model S, but it does have a more powerful electric motor, which now generates 184 horsepower and 199 lb-ft. of torque. That’s 14 more horsepower and 15 more lb-ft. of torque than the standard i3.
Some of the other upgrades include an 11 millimeter lower ride height, a wider track and 20-inch wheels that are a half-inch wider. The BMW i3s also has a new sports suspension with specially developed springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. If you want to amp up the “sport” factor even more, there is a new Sport mode that improves the accelerator response and tightens up the steering. The upgrades to the i3s give it a 0-60 mph time of 6.8 seconds, compared to 7.2 seconds for the standard i3.
The rest of the i3 lineup also gets some updates for the 2018 model year, including updated front and rear fascias, which emphasize the i3’s width. There aren’t any battery upgrades to the 2018 i3, which means that the standard i3 can travel 114 miles, while the Range Extender with its two-cylinder gas engine gives it a range of 180 miles.
A new BMW TurboCord charger is now part of the options list that features a 20-ft charging cord, and provides two chargers in one. Level 1 charging is available when plugged into any 120 V outlet and it also lets you charge up-to 3.6 kW, nearly three-times faster than the standard occasional use cable when used with a 240 V outlet.