That's the main issue with making cars that look as if they were from another planet.
In case you recently happened to glance at the calendar, saw your birthday coming up, and thought to yourself, “man, I’m getting old,” we now have evidence to prove you correct. That’s because the BMW i3, the automaker’s mass market electric vehicle that looked futuristic enough to convince visiting aliens we’re a more advanced race than we really are, is already due for a refresh. The urban electric vehicle went on sale in 2013 and until 2016, was the certified as the EPA’s most fuel efficient vehicle.
That hasn’t exactly helped it become a sales phenomenon, but as long as emissions regulations continue to clamp down on the internal combustion engine, BMW, along with every other automaker, will keep going down the electric car avenue even if the only thing gained is a market presence and experience building EVs. That’s why, after extending the i3’s capabilities, BMW went ahead and gave it a full refresh. That hasn’t been announced yet, but the lens of our spy photographer’s cameras do not lie. Changes to the exterior won’t be too extreme, probably because the i3 already looks like a car from the future, but BMW threw in a new front bumper, updated the headlight graphics, and messed around with the rear bumper.
The dashboard will also get spruced up with a new infotainment system, but the bulk of the changes will take place underneath the sheet metal. A new top-trim version dubbed the i3 S is expected to debut with an upgraded electric motor to make the hatchback a bit more peppy, although we’re certain that anyone wanting serious electric car performance should get a Ludicrous Tesla (please prove us wrong BMW). Thanks to these updates, the i3 continues looking like a space ship from another planet, but rounded proportions and pizza dish-thin wheels only serve to keep enthusiasts away and reinforce the fallacy that all electric cars must look either boring or otherworldly.
At least the i8 Spyder we recently caught testing will jazz up the i brand’s sex appeal since the i3 doesn’t seem to be going that route.