The refresh also promises a new look for the “front and rear…” or a new car, really. There aren’t any clues as to what this means, but the current i3’s design has been polarizing, to say the least. While it certainly screams “I’m an EV,” its boxy, busy appearance is in sharp contrast to the slicker looks of not only conventional BMWs, but Tesla’s upcoming Model 3. A redesign might be crucial simply to attract buyers put off by the existing styling.
Both improvements are welcome, although the i3 may face tough competition even with these refinements. Tesla is already promising a minimum 214 miles per charge on the Model 3, and the Chevy Bolt can muster 238 miles. BMW’s Klaus Frölich tells Welt that he doesn’t think of range as the be-all, end-all factor in an EV, but it’s still important enough at this stage that the company can’t afford to fall short of its rivals.