New BMW i3 and sportier i3s on show at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show

The BMW i3 is one of the most iconic, distinctive electric cars you can buy – and it’s about to be replaced. At this year’s Frankfurt motor show, BMW revealed a refreshed version of the EV and also introduced the i3s – a performance-focused version of the standard i3.

Both models of the new i3 were revealed online a few weeks ago, but in Frankfurt we got to see BMW’s new EV in person. So what’s it look like? The new BMW features slightly tweaked styling, and looks like the previous model, really – but with a fairly aggressive eyelift.

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The headlights of the new BMW i3 look as though they’ve had a botched facelift, and the result is a car that looks a little more conventional than its first iteration. Both models look better, but the i3s goes a little further, and features accent strips in BMW i Blue or a new Frozen Grey finish.

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As you’d expect, both new i3s also feature better performance than the previous model: the standard new i3 has 170hp and 184 pound-feet of torque, and the new i3s has an output of 184hp and 199 pound-feet of torque. And BMW has some even more impressive stats for the i3s.

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The sportier i3s can get to 62mph in a fairly respectable 6.9 seconds, and even has a top speed of 99mph. However, it’s not just the powertrain that’s been improved. BMW says the new i3s is 10mm lower than the standard i, and has a 40mm wider track for better stability. There’s even a Sport driving mode that delivers more direct acceleration and sharper steering, too.

Inside, the new i3 gets a much-needed boost in technology. The new EV gets an updated iDrive system with a 10.25in, 1,440 x 540 screen, and it’s also compatible with Connected+, a new system I tried out in Chicago earlier this year.

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As you’d expect, BMW has also added some autonomous technology to the new i3 and i3s, and it now comes with Parking Assistant and Traffic Jam Assistant. The self-parking is cool, but the optional Driving Assistant Plus package looks to be an essential upgrade. With that you get City Braking, Speed Limit info, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go. The Driving Assistant package also comes with a more useful Traffic Jam assistant that steers up to 37mph, making traffic far less annoying.

BMW says it will reveal more details about the i3 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but it’s already exciting news for those who love BMW’s innovative “i” programme. With a new i3s and an i8 Roadster already on the way, it’s clear BMW is still committed to creating incredible, futuristic vehicles. With any luck, much of the new technology will soon find itself in the updated, i8 too.

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