More range, different face in store for new BMW i3 in 2017

Looks like the new range could be 160 miles or so.

Step one: launch a new plug-in car. Step two: give it a bigger battery. Step three: update the whole kit and caboodle. With the i3, BMW has completed the first two items on the list. A new report by Welt Am Sonntag hints that number three is coming next year.

Exact details about the new version are not exactly clear yet, but Welt Am Sonntag says that the i3's front and rear will be updated and that the range will be increased. No surprises there, since that's par for the course in the EV world these days. Remember, the all-electric i3 got a mid-cycle boost to 114 miles earlier this year. While we'll continue to hope for 200 miles (the new normal for EV leadership) from the new model, Welt Am Sonntag's unidentified sources said the increase would be lower than 50 percent, which would mean a maximum of 165 miles or so.

We've asked BMW for a comment on this rumor, and will update this post if we hear anything.

UPDATE: As expected, BMW didn't want to talk about future product. All a spokesperson would say is, "At BMW we constantly strive to keep our vehicles up to date and our current models meet the needs and requirements of our customers. The BMW i3 (94 Ah) has got off to a great start and when counting both models, the BMW i3 is the world's most successful electric vehicle in the Premium-Compact Segment."

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