The 2017 BMW i3 will go on sale this fall with significant updates, most notably a higher-capacity battery pack.
Its capacity rises a full 50 percent, from 22 to 33 kilowatt-hours, and the EPA-rated range of the battery-electric model will be 114 miles, BMW announced last month.
The new battery pack fits within the same package as the old one, but uses new 94 Amp-hour lithium-ion cells with higher energy density than the previous 60-Ah cells for increased capacity.
The range-extended i3 REx will get the same battery pack, and owners will be able to fill its gas tank to the full capacity of 2.4 gallons.
Additional battery capacity will allow BMW to "unlock" gas-tank capacity—previously limited electronically to 1.9 gallons—to the 2.4 gallons already available in Europe.
In addition to the 33-kWh battery-electric and REx variants, it now appears buyers will have a third option as well.
BMW will continue to offer the battery-electric i3 with the smaller, 22-kWh battery pack as well the larger-capacity version, reports i3 advocate Tom Moloughney on his BMW i3 blog.
This version of the i3 will reportedly start at the same $43,395 (including destination) as the 2016 battery-electric i3, and will have the same EPA-rated 81 miles of range.
That's compared to anticipated starting prices of $44,595 for the 2017 33-kWh i3, and $48,350 for the i3 REx.
That makes the smaller-capacity i3 the de facto base model of the range.
It will continue to be offered in three trim levels—Mega World, Giga World, and Tera World—while the other two 2017 variants will get a new Deka World trim level as standard.
The 22-kWh model also misses out on two new options available on other 2017 i3 models.
One is Protonic Blue metallic paint, previously offered only on the i8 plug-in hybrid coupe.
The other is the much-anticipated moonroof, which is a $1,000 option on the models that offer it.
Choosing the lower-capacity battery option doesn't affect performance though.
All 2017 models have the same rated output of 125 kilowatts (170 horsepower) and 184 lb-ft of torque as the 2016 models.
A 0-to-60 mph acceleration time of just over 7 seconds for battery-electric models, and just over 8 seconds for the model with the 38-hp range-extending 0.65-liter two-cylinder engine are also unchanged.
The 2017 BMW i3 is expected to go on sale in late summer or early fall.