BMW has ditched the current 60Ah i3 and replaced it with a more journey-friendly 94Ah that promises up to 195 miles of range.
The all-electric BMW i3 94Ah has the same size battery cell but the density has been increased, giving it a larger 33kWh capacity that can be charged in as little as three hours, thanks to allowing multi-phase charging of 3.7, 7.4 and 11kW.
The i3 94Ah’s electric motor weighs just 50kg yet generates an impressive 170hp. 0-62mph takes 7.3 seconds and torque is a healthy 250Nm. The top speed is less impressive, at 93mph, but still faster than a motorway requires.
As before, a Range Extender variant is available, which adds a 38hp petrol engine that recharges the lithium-ion batteries when the charge drops to a certain level. Overall range is increased by 81 miles, taking the total to 276 miles.
Increasing the range does come at a cost, chiefly the 0-62mph time drops down to 8.3 seconds and CO2 emissions creep up from 0 to 12g/km (a reduction of 1g/km on its predecessor).
Boot space is unaffected by the addition of a nine-litre fuel tank to run the Range Extender because of its location, which means there’s 260 litres for things expanding to 1,100 litres with the rear seats folded down.
Standing out amongst its i3 siblings is achieved by the Protonic Blue with Frozen Grey metallic paintjob, which was previously only available for the i8 supercar. Meanwhile buyers can now spec the Interior trims as separate options for a greater level of customisation.
The standard i3 94Ah comes with the Atelier Interior, which includes Neutronic cloth in Aragats Grey with BMW i Blue highlights on the black leather steering wheel and front seats. A new Dark Oak wood is available.
All BMW i3s come with an eight-year, 100,000 mile warranty (whichever comes sooner) and those who want to help ensure it lasts better can specify an optional heating system that ensures the battery is always kept to the optimal temperature of 20-degrees Celsius before starting off.
The BMW i3 94Ah will be available from July 2016, priced from £27,830 after the government’s plug-in grant of £4,500 is applied, while the Range Extender variant will set you back £30,980.
Given the i3 is now almost at the 200-mile range, it is a potential competitor the Tesla Model 3 (albeit a smaller one), which promises to give buyers a range of 215 miles when it arrives in late 2017, priced from US$35,000 dollars.