BMW i3 receives 120 Ah battery – up to 359 km range

The BMW i3 has been around for a good number of years, and the German automaker isn’t ready to replace the quirky, all-electric compact car just yet. Instead, the i3 has been given updated batteries to make it even more capable in terms of driving range than before.

When it was first revealed, the i3 featured a battery with a cell capacity of 60 Ah and a 22 kWh energy content, which was then increased to 94 Ah and 33 kWh in 2016. With the latest update, those figures are now up to 120 Ah and 42.2 kWh.

As a result, the all-electric range of the BMW i3 with the 120 Ah battery now stands at up to 359 km (NEDC) and 285-310 km (WLTP). Meanwhile, the i3s’ range is marked at 330-345 km (NEDC) and 270-285 km (WLTP). BMW says in everyday conditions, both models will achieve a range of around 260 km, which is a 60 km gain from before.

BMW i3 receives 120 Ah battery – up to 359 km range

It adds that the improved battery (floor-mounted) comes at no increase in its overall size, and consists of eight modules, each with twelve storage cells. The battery continues to feed a 168 hp (125 kW or 170 PS) and 250 Nm electric motor that allows it to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. Go for the more powerful, 181 hp (184 PS or 135 kW) and 270 Nm i3s model, and you’ll see that time slashed by point two of a second.

As before, you get a number of AC charging options that operate on the CCS charging standard. Using the standard charging cable on conventional household plug (10 A, 240 V), the battery can be charged up to 80% in about 15 hours with a charging capacity of 2.4 kW.

With the lower-end BMW i Wallbox (16 A, 240 V) that has a charging capacity of 3.7 kW, that time is lowered to 9.4 hours. Using a more powerful version of the i Wallbox (16 A, 380 V) with a charging capacity of 11 kW further slashes that time down to 3.2 hours.

BMW i3 receives 120 Ah battery – up to 359 km range

The quickest means of charging is with quick-charging stations that run on DC power, and BMW says those with a charging capacity of 50 kW can get the battery up to 80% of its total power in just 42 minutes.

Aside from the powertrain enhancements, the i3 also gains a new exterior paint finish called Jucaro beige, adaptive LED headlights with matrix function, a new ‘Loft’ interior design and updated ‘Suite’ interior design.

Later on, BMW will introduce a sports package that includes black wheel arch surrounds, sports suspension with specific dampers, springs and stabilisers, lowered suspension (-10 mm), a wider track and 20-inch light alloy wheels (available in Jet Black or Bicolor finish with mixed tyres).

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