BMW will likely debut a sportier variant of its i3 electric vehicle by 2018, and may unveil a prototype of the model at the Frankfurt Motor Show next September, UK’s Autocar says. The model will likely be (sub)titled the i3S.
The German automaker hasn’t leaked details about how much more powerful the new variant will be relative to the current version or how much more it will cost. The standard i3 offers 168 horsepower — for perspective, the top-of-the-line 2017 Mini Cooper Clubman S will deliver 228 horsepower.
Also to be determined is if the car’s single-charge range will be expanded. But the vehicle will get some stylistic adjustments to its headlights and bumpers, and the model will start sales in the UK in early 2018. A BMW representative declined to comment when contacted by Autoblog.
BMW can certainly use a little extra action for its i brand, at least in the US. Through October (November sales will be announced this week), US sales of the i3 fell 30 percent from a year earlier to 6,205 units, while US sales of the i8 plug-in hybrid fell 14 percent to 1,288 vehicles.
Still, the model received some good news in August, when BMW said the 2017 version’s single-charge range will be extended to 114 miles, which is up from 81 miles for this year’s version. That’s because the 2017 i3 is equipped with a 33 kiloWatt-hour battery.
Bimmer is also reportedly developing what’s referred to as Project i20 for its future plug-ins. That program will likely include a new EV model that will debut by 2021 and will have substantial autonomous-driving capabilities.