Refreshed BMW i3 Confirmed for 2017, Longer Range and New Look

New BMW i3 in 2017 with longer range and new look

Earlier this year we reported that BMW introduced a battery extender to the popular i3 electric vehicle to give it a longer range of up to 186 miles. We now have confirmation from via Reuters that a fresh look and improved performance is on the cards for the i3 once again, this time for 2017.

Though no photos have yet leaked on the new design, we do know that BMW will rework both the front and the back of the new version of the i3 for 2017. The battery will also be upgraded to give it about 50% more range than the current 186-mile (300 km) range (with the extender), which should bring it to about 250-280 miles of range on a single charge. Of note is the fact that they upgraded the battery range this year by 50% on the current i3 EV.

At the upper end, that’s still lower than the 315 miles of range on the Tesla Model S P100D, but if you look at the price difference, BMW will be ahead of Tesla if they manage to pull this off for next year. The P100D is currently retailing at $134,500 and up, while the company is now discounting the P90D, which now starts at $112,300.

At those prices, the BMW i3 2017 should beat them hands down. The current i3 is priced at $42,400, not including a destination and handling fee of $950, plus tax, title, license, and registration. Even if the price goes up for the 2017 model, it’s likely to be half the price of a Model S P90D.

The real competitors BMW will be after with the 2017 i3, therefore, are the Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt, both of which are retailing at under $40,000 without incentives. On that front, BMW may have a bit of a battle if they come in with a $40k+ starting price.

All things considered, BMW does have a branding advantage over GM, if not over Tesla. It is a luxury brand, after all, and the i3 will have some of the luxury trimmings that BMW considers to be standard.

BMW is yet to officially comment on these new developments, but the German newspaper that original reported this – Welt am Sonntag – cited company sources for the information provided.

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