PRICES have risen by $600 for the new electric-powered BMW i3, but a sporting derivative is a new inclusion among the 2018 variants arriving from January.
Base BMW i3 LCI variants will start from $68,700 plus on-roads.
Those chasing the new sporty BMW i3s will have to part with $69,900. The range-extender derivatives cost an additional $6000 on both variants.
Using the same 94Ah battery that arrived in variants last year, the new BMW i3 LCI will again be powered by a 125kW electric motor package which has a theoretical range of 300km. Most drivers will get about 200km from one charge.
The i3s is powered by a sportier version of the electric motor package, with an updated drive system, and it gains a power boost to 135kW and increased torque - 270Nm compared to 250Nm. It's top speed is also bolstered, up from 150kmh to 160kmh.
From standstill the i3s is also quicker: able to sprint from 0-100km/h in 6.9sec (compared to 7.3sec for the LCI).
The sporting derivative has a similar everyday electric range of about 200km, but official figures have it at 280km.
Those who have range anxiety, both can be partnered to a 28kW two-cylinder range extender petrol engine, increasing everyday range by up to 130 kilometres.
From the outside you can spot the differences, the i Black Belt now takes in the A-pillars and roof lines. Two new metallic exterior colours have been added, red and imperial blue. They join the non-metallic shades white and black, as well as protonic blue metallic and grey metallic.
Both will come with all-LED headlights as standard, which employ LED bulb units for dipped beam and high beam, as well as the daytime running lights.
Sport models are lowered by 10mm, and also gain 20-inch alloys.
The 'Lodge' equipment line is standard, with the 'Loft' style available as a no-cost alternative. 'Suite' line is also available, featuring full natural leather upholstery.
Basic equipment will incorporate BMW's iDrive6 operating system, air con with three temperature sensors, 5.7-inch driver instrument cluster, four-speaker sound system along with a 10.25-inch colour display. Wireless Apple CarPlay has also been added to the functionality ($623 option).
BMW says the i3s will come with a Type 2 charging system, which is "designed to take advantage of the increasing DC charging infrastructure in the Australian market". They can also accept three-phase AC charging for recharging at home, office or public charging stations.
Charging the at home from empty with standard three-pin plug takes 12-15 hours. Use the special BMW 'wallbox' and it takes 4-6 hours. Rapid chargers take about 40 minutes.
"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."
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.
Comfort pack (comfort access, heated front seats, Harman Kardon sound system) $2600.
Metallic paint $1417.
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