The 2017 BMW i3 Revealed With Bigger Battery And 114-Mile Range


It still can't go as far as Chevy's Bolt or Tesla's Model 3...

The BMW i3 is generally well-regarded, but the one big knock against it is its lack of range. BMW is aiming to tamp down such criticism with the 2017 i3, which will pack a more powerful 33kWh battery and have a longer range. The current i3 has a 22kWh battery and a max electric range of 81 miles, but the 2017 model will top that by offering up to 114 miles (highway/city) of driving on a single charge. In addition to the bigger battery, BMW is also offering something for those who opt for the Range Extender i3.

You Might Also Like
6 Cars Mitsubishi Should Build To Become Cool Again
6 Cars Mitsubishi Should Build To Become Cool Again
7 Brands That Refuse To Build An SUV
7 Brands That Refuse To Build An SUV

The Range Extender still features a 38-horsepower two-cylinder gas engine used to power a generator to make additional electricity. But the 2017 i3’s fuel capacity has been increased to 2.4 gallons, a 25% jump over the capacity of the 2016 model. The outgoing i3 with Range Extender could do up to 150 miles. BMW hasn’t released the max range of the 2017 i3 with Range Extender, but it should be a healthy amount over 150 miles thanks to the bigger battery and gas tank. Now as you’d expect, the i3 gains a bit of weight thanks to its more powerful battery. Electric-only it weighs 2,961 pounds and with the gas engine it checks in at 3,234 pounds. BMW says it didn’t need to increase the exterior dimensions to fit the new battery. Small victories, people.

In terms of performance, the 2017 i3 offers 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. A run from 0-60 mph happens in just over seven seconds. That number is down a bit if you opt for the Range Extender model; it needs a full eight seconds to go from 0-60 mph. Of course no one is buying the 2017 i3 for its performance prowess. They are buying it because it’s a stylish offering in a field crowded with ugly alternatives (cough, Nissan Leaf). In addition to upping the range, BMW also wants to make charging the i3 even easier. It’s announced that in late 2016 it will begin selling the BMW Home Charge Connect Now, a fast-charging station complete with WiFi. It can fully charge the i3’s battery in four hours and 30 minutes.

If you need juice faster, the new i3 can charge 80% of its battery in just 40 minutes when hooked up to a DC Fast Charge station. There will also be a new interior package offered, "Decka World," which covers the interior in lightweight dark cloth made from recycled material. An electric moonroof is now on offer and customers can finally option the 2017 i3 in Protonic Blue, a color formerly exclusive to the i8. New colors and available options are great, but the real story (obviously) is BMW realizing that it needs to increase the i3’s range in order for the EV to stay competitive. BMW can’t be a big dog in the electric car wars simply on name alone. Tesla’s Model 3 and Chevy’s upcoming Bolt both beat the i3 in max electric range.

The competition knows that range anxiety trumps all, even badges and luxury, and is building its EVs accordingly. The 2017 BMW i3 is a step in the right direction, but before declaring it anything more than that we’ll need to see how much it costs and how far the Range Extender model (the most popular with consumers) can travel.

Fake Lamborghini Murcielago SV Reverse-Engineered By Iran

The Chinese couldn’t have done it better.

Hennessey Trackhawk Is World's Quickest SUV

That's what a thousand horsepower will do for ya.

5 Things You Need To Know About The 2019 BMW X5

After driving the car for the first time, here are our key takeaways.

Watch The BMW M2 Competition Lap The Ring In 7:52

That was supercar territory not long ago.

Kim Jong-un Gets Classy With New Ride

So much for sanctions.

Drifting A 1,000-HP Corvette On Mountain Roads Takes Some Serious Skill

Thought drifting the entire Nurburgring was challenging? Try it in a 1,000-hp Corvette on a mountain road with no safety rails.

Hennessey Heritage Edition Ford Truck Makes More Power Than Anything You’ve Got

This crazy beast is even more powerful than the Ford GT.

Ford Imagines A Future With No Traffic Lights

Stopping at junctions could be a thing of the past in the future.

One-Off Ferrari 330GT Speciale Is A 50-Year-Old Dream Come True

This stunning coachbuilding project is a tribute to legendary Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti.

What's Hot

Related Cars

Starting MSRP

Related Reviews

2017 BMW i3 Review
BMW i3 Hatchback
2017 BMW i3 Review
2018 BMW i3 Review
Model Overview
2018 BMW i3 Review
2018 BMW i3s Test Drive Review: Driving The Sporty EV On An Autocross
Test Drive
2018 BMW i3s Test Drive Review: Driving The Sporty EV On An Autocross