But there might be a catch.
With the i3 now out of production, the upcoming i4 will be BMW's least expensive EV starting at $55,400. The German automaker recently teased the new i7 coming to the 2022 New York Auto Show, but it will be an expensive flagship model. What BMW needs is a less expensive, entry-level EV to get buyers in the showrooms. Luckily, just such a car is on the way. BMW just put out an official teaser for the iX1, a small electric crossover based on the the BMW X1.
The company shared a single image of the car during its Annual Conference 2022 for investors, then launched a model page on various BMW websites globally.
This model page reads as follows, "The first fully electric BMW iX1 combines the innovation of BMW i with the flexibility of a BMW X model. Equipped with advanced, fifth-generation eDrive technology, the spacious yet compact BMW iX1 impresses with dynamic performance. Thanks to its exciting sporty exterior, it delivers a visual statement of self-assured presence. And in combination with state-of-the-art digital technology in the interior, the new BMW iX1 offers an agile driving experience for those who seek adventure in their everyday life."
No other details about the car were provided, but we have some information from spy shots and leaked documents. The iX1 will ride on BMW's new FAAR front-wheel-drive platform, which is an evolution of the current X1's UKL architecture (also shared with Mini). We expect it to borrow the same 80-kWh battery pack from the Europe-only iX3, with an all-wheel-drive xDrive30 model producing around 270 horsepower. A front-wheel-drive eDrive20 may arrive later, using the same motor as the Mini Cooper SE. BMW will attempt to keep the iX1 affordable, so range is only estimated at around 120 to 200 miles.
In case it wasn't obvious based on the small size or limited range, this BMW is not designed with the US market in mind. BMW added the model page to various websites including the UK, but it's nowhere to be found on the US page. Perhaps the company has something else up its sleeve because rivals Audi and Mercedes both have EVs coming in this segment. The Audi Q4 e-tron and Mercedes-Benz EQB will bring in buyers looking for an affordable luxury EV. Unless something changes, BMW will be absent from this race.