The Car signaled it was interested in getting into the electric game back in 2013 with the launch of the BMW i3, and the company hasn’t been nonproductive since then. Along with the glorious i8 sports car, hybrid models including the 330e and X5 X Drive 40e have joined the company’s retinue and now the BMW i3 itself has been given an upgrade – an upgrade that adds a whopping 50 percent more range.

We hit the road for a better look at the new BMW i3 94-Ah model. This is basically the same car that we went back in 2014; the same zippy performance, immediate handling, brilliantly tight turning circle, high driving position, roomy cabin, skinny rims and slightly rigid drive this is a little unforgiving over bumps.

The 60-Ah model, typically part of the range, has a twenty-one. 6-kWh high-voltage, lithium-ion battery pack (18. 8 kWh usable). That figure jumps to 33. 2 kWh (27. 2 kWh usable) for the 94-Ah model. This kind of is achieved through an embrace density courtesy of engineers at Samsung SDI, who have crammed more electrolytes into an electric battery pack of the same physical size.

This gives a new real-world range figure of 200 kilometer (124 mi) when compared to 135 km (81 mi) for the 60-Ah model. That 200-km range represents well over a week of commuting to and from work for most people, so it makes the all-electric i3 a much more practical proposition. There is still a range stretcher (REX) version that uses a 650 cc two-cylinder petrol engine as a generator to recharge the batteries, adding 130 kilometer to the number.

The REX version made up seventy percent of sales in Australia so far, but with the discharge of the 94 Ah, AS BMW HYBRID expects to sell fewer of these and more of the battery only model given the decrease in range anxiety. Functionality wise, the upgraded i3 is basically on a par with the original. The motor produces the same 125 kW (170 hp) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of rpm and is mated to a single-speed transmission. The beefed-up battery does give a few pounds, resulting in a curb weight of 1, 245 kg (2, 745 lb) and making the 94-Ah model a tenth of a second slower for 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph), though the difference between 7. 2 and 7. 3 moments isn’t something you are likely to notice.

Even more telling is the 30-70 km/h (19-43 mph) speeding time of 2. 6th seconds. This is where “zippy” comes in. Yanking away from the lighting or getting into an improved position to safely merge is made much easier by that punch from low to medium speed. The BMW i3 (94 Ah) starts at AU$65, nine hundred nationwide, while the range extender model is $71, 900 (US$43, 600 and $47, 450 respectively in America). The 60 My oh my model remains to be available, starting at AU$63, 900 or US$42, 400.

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