Now, will people buy one?
With German competitors Audi and Mercedes unveiling new electric crossovers, the BMW i3 is facing stiff competition BMW is also set to reveal its own electric crossover, the iX3, which will likely render the i3 obsolete. The i3 has been far from a sales success, with BMW having to give a $10,000 discount to get people to buy it. Rumors speculate that the i3 and i8 may not last beyond 2021, and with sales of just over 6,000 units in all of 2017, we wouldn't be surprised if the i3 gets discontinued soon.
For the i3 to survive a bit longer, BMW would have to offer a major update. BMW did reveal the i3S, a sporty version with a 184 horsepower electric motor, but didn't improve the range, which sits at just 180 miles. According to Electrive, the German automaker is set to reveal an updated 2019 i3.
This new 2019 i3 is expected to use a 42-kWh battery, a significant improvement on the current 33-kWh unit. There hasn't been any word on how this will impact range, but a loose estimate puts the gains at around 25-30%.
For those who don't like doing the math, that would mean a new range of around 225 to 234 miles. While this wouldn't put the i3 within shouting distance of the long-range Tesla Model 3, it would put it on par with cars like the Chevy Bolt. Of course, we are still referring to the i3 range extender model, which packs a tiny gasoline motor to add range. The 2019 i3 should be revealed next week at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. It may not be a revolutionary change, but it should help BMW sell more EVs before the iX3 goes on sale in 2020.