One of the few complaints people have had about BMW’s all-electric i3 is its relatively short range. It’s a fantastic city car, provided you can find a place to charge it when you park during a day of shopping, since the current 81-mile combined range isn’t optimal for exploring the back roads around town.
BMW has recognized these complaints and upped their game. For 2017 they have added a new model range under the cryptic moniker of i3 (94 Ah), which should make those with a long commute much happier.
Basically what you get is 33% more range compliments of a new Samsung battery, with a greater range of 114 miles. Around town expect even better numbers, as BMW’s regenerative braking system does a great job of recharging the batteries to extend the life of a charge.
Performance numbers haven’t changed a whole lot for the new and improved model, so expect the same 170 hp electric motor to scoot your greenmobile to 60 in about 7 seconds. A sedate pace, to be sure, but by no means is it a danger on the interstate entrance ramp.
If there is one flaw in all this power, it’s the charging time. Road trips won’t be this car’s forte, but nobody buys a car like this for driving cross-country anyway. The new batteries require an hour longer to juice up than the smaller pack – 4.5 hours vs. 3.5 hours for the lower-capacity model – though this won’t matter to most buyers since the majority of i3s are parked and plugged in every night at home.
The 2017 i3 should hit your local dealer sometime in the third quarter of 2016, and pricing should be available closer to that time.
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