The BMW i3 will soon be available with a sport package that adds a few ponies, sportier wheels and a slightly different look to let other drivers know you’re serious about not using gasoline. The updated model is called the i3s and marks the first time the automaker added a dedicated sport package to the i3 or i7, though the i8 is already sporty enough.
This package comes as part of the i3’s mid-model refresh and should add a boost to the little i3, which is already a blast to drive. The low curb weight and peppy electric powertrain results in a car that’s surprisingly quick and responsive. The 2018 i3S comes equipped with a motor that outputs 184 hp and 199 lb-ft. That’s a slight boost over the standard motor that has 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The i3s will also come with a stiffer suspension and wider 20-inch wheels.
The mid-size i3 came out as a 2014 model, well ahead of the similarly sized Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3. Yet despite the head start, the i3’s short 87 mile range and $43,000 starting price kept the car from being a mass-market hit. And it doesn’t seem as if BMW is adding range to the model, either.
When compared to other electric vehicles, the upgraded i3s is still a sad option to the Chevy Bolt or Model 3, which are both available at lower starting prices and easily double the range of the BMW. However, the i3 is still offered with a range-extending generator that essentially turns the vehicle into a hybrid vehicle that can partly run on gasoline.
BMW is not dropping the EV standard, though. The i3s’s new motors clearly state that the car company is still working on electric vehicles.
Pricing on the 2018 models have yet to be released. Look for that next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show.