scsikid
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:02 am

Is i3 to i3s performance modification possible?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:05 am

I'm wondering if anyone has come across a way to get the same performance of an i3s from an i3?
I've googled and searched this form and can't find anything.

eNate
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Is i3 to i3s performance modification possible?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:28 am

Are you thinking "whole hog," or just one particular i3s attribute? There are four i3s factory "mods" I'm aware of:

1. 184 HP motor, which I presume is just a 1 for 1 swap

2. wider wheels & tires which ought to be a 1 for 1 swap, but needs fender extensions to cover the poke

3. suspension mods, 1/2" lower -- I see aftermarket already has you covered

4. traction control electronics have been moved to the wheels; I'm not clear if this carried over to the standard i3 models as well

It seems that with enough cash, 1, 2, and 3 are all doable. I wonder if there's a new gearbox to handle the extra torque., but on ebay I see drivetrains (motor + gearbox) when I search for motors. I wonder if there's extra programming that goes along with the motor swap.

Number 4 seems daunting, and this is one of the performance aspects of the i3s that interests me. My non-sport i3 reads rough or choppy pavement as wheel slip, so engages stability control and cuts regen. The i3s new traction control is supposed to eliminate this.
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alohart
Posts: 1852
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Is i3 to i3s performance modification possible?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:38 am

eNate wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:28 am
1. 184 HP motor, which I presume is just a 1 for 1 swap
Others have reported that the part number for the i3 and i3S motors are identical which means that the same motor is producing more power. I haven't read how this change is implemented. It could be different motor electronics or just different software.
eNate wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:28 am
4. traction control electronics have been moved to the wheels; I'm not clear if this carried over to the standard i3 models as well
Not sure what you mean by this. There are no electronics in the wheels.

I've read that the i3's traction control was improved along with other LCI changes, so all newer i3's should have the improved traction control including the i3S.
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Art

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eNate
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Is i3 to i3s performance modification possible?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:46 am

It's possible I'm interpreting this wrong:

"...the control process is now calculated directly in the powertrain instead of in a remote unit requiring long signal paths."

https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/global/a ... anguage=en

But to me this reads as new electronics are involved (including new physical location), maybe not at the wheels, but somewhere directly in line between the geabox and the wheels.

The press release specifically calls out the i3s but it makes sense to me they would incorporate this across the i3 production lineup, just that I never found anything saying this was also instituted in the non-sport 2018 i3.
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alohart
Posts: 1852
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Is i3 to i3s performance modification possible?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:44 pm

eNate wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:46 am
It's possible I'm interpreting this wrong:

"...the control process is now calculated directly in the powertrain instead of in a remote unit requiring long signal paths."

https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/global/a ... anguage=en

But to me this reads as new electronics are involved (including new physical location), maybe not at the wheels, but somewhere directly in line between the geabox and the wheels.
My interpretation is that traction control is now implemented directly in the motor electronics rather than in a separate traction control module. Nevertheless, traction control is much improved in newer i3's.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

scsikid
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:02 am

Re: Is i3 to i3s performance modification possible?

Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:56 am

Thanks for the replies.

The main things I'd be interested in is the lowering, the wider wheels, and the power upgrade.

I read on a facebook forum that there was a software upgrade done on the i3 which lowered the power to prevent damage to motor mounts. I guess to much torque for the original mounts is my theory. I'd suspect BMW used the same motor, put beefier mounts and via software increased power potential for the i3s.

I know the fender flares are a thing on the i3s, but then I just read the parking assistant loss which actually is a feature I was looking for with having a tight garage space. Relocation of sensors that are currently in position of the fender flare mounting doable?

I look forward to more replies :)

alohart
Posts: 1852
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Is i3 to i3s performance modification possible?

Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:12 am

scsikid wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:56 am
I read on a facebook forum that there was a software upgrade done on the i3 which lowered the power to prevent damage to motor mounts. I guess to much torque for the original mounts is my theory.
Maximum power output doesn't seem to have been decreased in our 2014 BEV. However, traction control was modified to prevent a wheel momentarily off the pavement from suddenly spinning to high speed before returning to the pavement (e.g., when driving down over a curb). Also, the maximum torque when starting to move from being stopped or at a very low speed seems to have been reduced thus reducing the shock on the motor mount.
scsikid wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:56 am
I'd suspect BMW used the same motor, put beefier mounts and via software increased power potential for the i3s.
This could be confirmed by comparing the motor mount parts numbers at realoem.com. A stronger metal motor mount began being installed on 2016 i3's, so the same motor mount could be used on the i3S. It is reported that the i3S isn't any faster from 0-30 than the i3 but that it has increased power above 30 mph.
scsikid wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:56 am
I know the fender flares are a thing on the i3s, but then I just read the parking assistant loss which actually is a feature I was looking for with having a tight garage space. Relocation of sensors that are currently in position of the fender flare mounting doable?
At least one i3 owner installed i3S flares and remounted an existing ultrasonic sensor so that it wasn't covered by the flares. However, adding ultrasonic sensors where no wiring likely exists could be challenging.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

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