With its futuristic exterior design and avant-garde interior, the i3 wasn’t exactly in dire need of a refresh, but even so BMW has decided to give its electrified city car some updates here and there. The changes are quite small and include little things like black A-pillars and roof lines, new Melbourne Red and Imperial Blue metallic paints, along with a chrome strip that runs along the width of the rear end. Some subtle tweaks to both front and rear aprons have also been implemented, but you’ll likely have a difficult time noticing them.

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As standard, BMW will sell the i3 and i3s with full-LED headlights complementing the rear lights, which already had light-emitting diodes for all functions on the pre-facelift model. Inside, not much has changed, but we do have to mention a Solaric Brown seat upholstery combining natural leather with wool-based textile material. A blue seatbelt option has been added, as well as lettering on the floor mats in the case of the performance-oriented i3s.

Not only is the i3’s powertrain eco-friendly, but the cabin is also less harmful to the environment compared to other cars as more than 80% of the surfaces visible have been made by using recycled materials or renewable surfaces.

Gallery: 2018 BMW i3s

By far the biggest news regarding the 2018MY is the launch of the aforementioned i3s, pictured above. While the regular version has to make do with 170 horsepower (125 kilowatts) and 184 pound-feet (250 Newton-meters) of torque, the new member of the “i” family ups the power ante to 184 hp (135 kW) and 199 lb-ft (270 Nm). The bump in output has lowered the 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) sprint time from 7.3 to 6.9 seconds while top speed has been increased from an electronically governed 93 mph (150 kph) to a still limited 99 mph (160 kph).

According to BMW’s own data, both the i3 and i3s in their purely electric forms will do up to 124 miles (200 kilometers) between charges. In the overly optimistic New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), the standard i3 can cover anywhere between 180 to 186 miles (290 to 300 km) whereas the more power-hungry i3s is rated with a range of 174 miles (280 km).

The range-extending, two-cylinder engine with 38 hp (28 kW) derived from a motorcycle can be added to both versions of the i3 to boost overall range from about 112 miles (180 km) to 205 miles (330 km) based on the tests conducted by BMW.

The updated i3 and new i3s will be presented to the public in September at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show where BMW-owned MINI will have a zero-emissions study on display.

Source: BMW

Gallery: 2018 BMW i3

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