That's not necessarily a bad thing.
It was a big deal when BMW launched its i3 and i8 back in 2013 and 2014,respectively. The German automaker rightly prided itself for taking the first steps into the electric and hybrid powertrain era. While the i3’s design did not appeal to everyone, and the i8’s price tag was out of range (pun intended) for the average car buyer, BMW still produced a pair of vehicles previewing the future. Today, however, we’re hearing both models’ time could be limited, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Automotive News reports that with the BMW i4 and iNext EVs set to debut in 2020 and 2021, the i3 and i8 will likely no longer be needed. Or, in other words, neither will be redesigned. “These cars are very unique, said Stefan Juraschek, head of electric powertrain for BMW. “These two cars were not (developed) as a family that we can expand in different (ways) or maybe five or 10 derivatives.” Instead, they were (and still are) technological showcases. For 2017, the i3 received a series of updates and it’s now a full EV while the refreshed i8 coupe and new roadster remains a plug-in hybrid only.
Meanwhile, BMW continues to completely overhaul its main vehicle platforms so they’re all compatible with combustion, electric and plug-in hybrid tech. If all goes according to plan, those new platforms will be good to go for 2021, thus allowing for a new generation of vehicles, such as the i4. The i3 and i8 may simply no longer be needed because, for starters, much of their technologies will be outdated. BMW long ago trademarked names such as i2, i4, i5, i6, etc. so there are plenty of numbers to choose from. What’s for certain is that the i Division will continue, and thanks to componentry for electric vehicles being grouped into a modular kit that can fit into that new architecture, BMW will have a long list of vehicle possibilities at its disposal.