BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition front 3/4
  • BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition front 3/4: LA 2015
  • BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition front 3/4
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition: LA 2015 front 3/4
  • BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition: LA 2015
  • BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition: LA 2015 front 3/4 view
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition side profile
  • BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition side view: LA 2015
  • BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition side view in LA 2015
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition side view, open doors
  • BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition side view, open doors
  • The open doors of the BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition, as seen from the side.
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition rear view
  • BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition rear view
  • BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition seen from the back at LA 2015.
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition moon roof
  • The moon roof in the BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition
  • Interior shot of the moon roof in the BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Dual moon roof BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition
  • Dual moon roof in the BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition: LA 2015
  • Dual moon roof in the BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
dashboard of the BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition
  • BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition dashboard: LA 2015
  • Dashboard in the BMW i3 Shadow Sport Edition
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Autocar reports that BMW is preparing upgrades for the all-electric i3 that will greatly extend its range. Company sources called it an "optimized driveline," powered by a new, 22-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. That's the same capacity as the battery in the current hatchback but it will have a higher density. Combined with improved electronics and new software for battery cooling and the electric motor, Autocar's unnamed BMW source said the new internals will be good for "well over 124 miles in real-world use."

The Environmental Protection Agency rates the present i3 as having 81 miles of range, meaning this tweaked version would be a 50-percent improvement if that range number applies to the US market (it's likely the more lenient European number, since Autocar is a UK publication). BMW said the update takes advantage of gains in battery efficiency over the past two years. The i3 with the range extending engine would also get the update, and current owners will reportedly (and surprisingly) be able to purchase the revised powertrain for retrofitting.

The Autocar report appears to back up a recent article in German newspaper Die Zeit in which BMW CEO Harald Krüger said the the i3 will get more range next year, and "Another technology leap is going to come in three or four years." The i3 was designed for to make these kinds of upgrades easy to manage. We wait to find out when it will be available, whether it will increase the price of a new car, and how much it will cost current owners to retrofit.


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