BMW has secured naming rights for the i1 and all the way up to the i9. But there's more.
We already know that BMW is planning to put its fully autonomous iNext concept into production in 2021 as part of its electric i range, but what the final car will be called remains a mystery. This week however, BMW announced that it delivered over 100,000 EVs worldwide in 2017 and also confirmed that it has secured naming rights for the i1 to the i9 as well as the iX1 through to the iX9 following recent reports. The automaker also confirmed that the iNext will act as the “brand’s new technology flagship.”
It seems likely, then, that the production model will adopt the i9 name to represent the company’s new flagship electric car. Alternatively, if the iNext turns out to be an SUV it could be called the iX9. BMW’s current flagship car in its i sub-brand is of course the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, which will be going topless for the first time in the 2019 model year. The iNext will be significantly more advanced however, so it would make sense to position it above the i8. When it launches in 2021, the BMW iNext will be one of the first cars to feature Level 4 self-driving technology, so it should be able to drive itself in most scenarios but will still require a driver to be present to intervene if required.
BMW claims that the iNext’s bespoke interior will host a variety of advanced connectivity functions seen for the first time in a series-production model. The iNext will also be the first BMW fitted with the automaker’s fifth-generation batteries which will enable a range of over 400 miles on a single charge.