BMW’s i range currently consists of just two models: the city-oriented i3 and the much sportier profiled i8, and the manufacturer has trademarked all names from i1 to i9, with the stated intention to use all of them. However, as CarAdvice of Australia reports, none of those badges will adorn the tailgate of an SUV, as it has been deemed unfit for the profile of the green sub-brand, and thus one won’t be made.
They recently spoke with the manager for the i3 project, Roland Kowalski, who explained that “the thing with the SUVs is nobody, more than 90 per cent, needs four-wheel drive for the city. The SUV trend is only a thing about the space or the roominess.”
He argued that the i3 offers just as much interior space as a 3-Series, while sitting on the same wheelbase as a 1-Series hatchback.
Another statement was made by BMW’s vice-president of functional integration and driving dynamics, Jos van As, who commented on the naming policy:
“If you start with i1, what do you do if you want to make a smaller car? A 0.5?” he said, completing the idea with “I think they did it to leave space for something if we want to do something different. And that’s something we’re developing. With the separate i [brand] we take a very deliberate step in one direction if the world is moving towards less emissions, [problems with] petrol availability, etc.”
Is this good or bad news? Would you have been intrigued by the prospect of (say) a purpose-built all-electric or range extender SUV with a BMW badge? I know I won’t miss it…
By Andrei Nedelea