BMW's flagship iNext EV will enter production in 2021, but before then a concept will be shown later this year.
We've known for a while now that BMW is planning to expand its i range with a new flagship EV. Dubbed the iNext, it won't go into production until 2021, but BMW has given us an early glimpse of its future Jaguar I-Pace rival. The teaser image doesn't give much away, showing a silhouette with a shape that looks like an SUV sporting square wheel arches, a sloping roofline and a short rear end. What you're looking at isn't the iNext, though – it's a concept called the Vision Vehicle that BMW will unveil later this year previewing the future production model.
BMW says the production version of the iNext will serve as a technology flagship for the brand that incorporates "all major areas of innovation in a road-ready vehicle." "The iNEXT project is our building kit for the future. It will benefit the entire company and all our brands," said BMW chairman Harald Kruger. For the first time, we are combining all key technologies for future mobility in one vehicle. The iNEXT is fully electric, fully connected and also offers highly automated driving. Today, we gave our shareholders a very first glimpse of the design of the BMW iNEXT. Later this year, we will be presenting the BMW iNEXT as a Vision Vehicle."
It's believed the production iNext will be around the same size as the X5 and with space inside the cabin for five people. Multiple battery packs are being developed, including a 60-kWh with a 280-mile range and a 120-kWh model that will offer a Tesla-beating 435-mile range. With two electric motors, the BMW iNext will develop 443 hp, but as much as 800 hp could be possible with a third motor. Level 3 autonomy will be offered as standard, but the EV will be upgraded with Levels 4 and 5 as the technology evolves. If you hadn't already gathered, this is going to be a technological tour de force. No doubt we'll find out more tantalizing details when the BMW Vision Vehicle is shown "later this year".
After that, the pure-electric BMW iNEXT will be built at the company's Dingolfing factory in 2021, where the 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 Series is also assembled, along with the i3 and i8 and Rolls-Royce bodies.