Justin Cupler
Automotive Editor - December 2, 2019

Model Preview

If you’re patiently waiting for a second-generation BMW i3, your patience may soon wear away, as reports indicate a second generation will not happen. To help ease you down from this news is the 2020 BMW i3 and its new limited-edition i3s Edition RoadStyle model.

Visually, we expect the bulk of the 2020 BMW i3 lineup to arrive with virtually no changes. This all-electric hatchback will include a stubby nose, relatively long greenhouse, a forward-leaning hatch, and its wheels pushed out to the corners. The one notable change will be the new i3s Edition RoadStyle model, which will add E-Copper accents to the kidney grille inlays, front bumper air deflectors, and side skirts. It will also gain black 20-inch double-spoke alloy wheels.

Inside, the i3 has always had a relatively timid and clean interior despite being a technologically advanced electric vehicle. We expect this simple design, which includes limited HVAC buttons, a dash-top infotainment screen, a two-post steering wheel, and a digital gauge cluster, to carry on unchanged in the 2020 model. Like the exterior, there will be one notable exception to this lack of change, and that’s the i3s Edition RoadStyle model that’ll add Dalbergia Brown natural leather with a dark oak matte-fine-wood trim and exclusive headrests with “Edition RoadStyle” embroidery.

BMW i3

We expect the power behind the 2020 i3 to remain the same. If this is the case, the base models will arrive with an electric motor that delivers 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. With its 42.2 kilowatt-hour battery, the i3 can travel up to 153 miles on electricity alone. Buyers can opt for a two-cylinder range-extending generator to boost its overall driving range to 200 miles (126 miles on electric only and 74 miles with range-extending generator). The i3s model will boast 181 hp and the same driving ranges as the base i3.

In IIHS testing, the current i3 fell short of Top Safety Pick status with its “Acceptable” rating in head restraint and seat tests. It pleases the IIHS’ advanced safety needs with optional automatic emergency braking as a part of the Technology + Driving Assistant Package. This system received an “Advanced” rating, as it mitigated damages by reducing the i3’s impact speed by 9 mph when traveling 12 mph and 7 mph when traveling at 25 mph. With no changes in the works for the 2020 i3, we expect these ratings to carry over.

Pricing & Release Date

BMW has not announced when it will put the 2020 i3 on sale in the U.S., so stay tuned for updates. When it arrives, BMW will limit the Edition RoadStyle model to just fewer than 1,000 units worldwide.

Pricing is also not available yet, but we expect the bulk of the lineup to see only small increases relative to the current model’s MSRP range of $45,455 to $52,495 (destination fees included). We expect the limited-run Edition RoadStyle model to carry a slight premium that’ll put it above the standard MSRP range.

This electric vehicle will compete with the Chevy Bolt, Nissan LEAF, and FIAT 500e.

Learn more about the current i3 on sale now »

Pictured: 2020 i3 Edition RoadStyle

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