In 2016, the BMW i3 went from 22kWh to 33kWh and today BMW have revealed an upgraded battery pack of 42kWh (120Ah) alongside 2019 model updates.
BMW state that WLTP figures for the i3 are between 285-310km and for the i3s 270-285km. In everyday conditions, BMW state that this new pack will result in a range of 260km for both the i3 and i3s. This is around 60km more than the 33kWh model, an increase of 30%.
As well as the bigger battery, BMW have unveiled a new sports package, including sports suspension (standard in the i3s) with specific dampers, springs and stabilisers, suspension lowered by 10mm, a widened track and 20-inch alloys and black wheel arch surrounds to make it look... beasty.
Additional changes will see new exterior finish options, new interior options/combinations, adaptive LED headlights, infotainment updates, wireless charging, and a LAN hotspot for up to 10 devices.
BMW have not announce retrofit options at this stage, but this was possible with the 2016 upgrade. Most speculations would suggest that the battery upgrade will not be compatible with a REx option.
Sustainability is still a key factor for the BMWi brand, with the brand stating:
"...the latest version of the BMW i3 also follows the brand's holistic concept, applicable since market launch and geared towards responsible use of resources: this includes not just locally emissions-free power but also material selection and production techniques as well as mobility services. The BMW i3 (120 Ah) and the BMW i3s (120 Ah) have a much more favourable CO2 footprint across the entire vehicle lifecycle – from raw material extraction and manufacture through to use and recycling – and this makes for significantly lower global warming potential than is the case with comparable, conventionally powered automobiles."
Most of you will know I'm a huge fan of the i3- a car that is immensely pleasurable to own and drive. This upgrade is great news and keeps the i3 a viable, relevant option on the market, although it is arguable that there is often too much unnecessary focus on EV range when most users don't actually need it for their daily drive. Either way, it's positive to see BMW take active steps to improve an iconic (albeit marmite) car in the EV sphere.