It’s no secret that BMW plans to expand the “i” range with another model, probably even challenging Tesla in the process, but not just yet.
The self-driving, Vision Next 100 concept presented at the beginning of this year, could lay the foundation of a model which will be positioned above the 7 Series, in an attempt for BMW to hold its part against the competition, which is getting stronger and stronger.
While speaking at the company’s 95th Annual General Meeting, in Munich, BMW’s CEO Harald Krüger stated the revolution in automotive engineering has been all about the electric i3, and since BMW has sold more than 50,000 i-branded vehicles to date, the next logical thing would be to supplement the line-up.
Krüger went on saying that in just a few weeks the i3 will be available with 50 percent more battery capacity, while 2018 will mark the debut of the i8 roadster. But, most importantly, all this will be followed in 2021 by the BMW i NEXT, described as a “new innovation driver, with autonomous driving, digital connectivity, intelligent lightweight design, a totally new interior and ultimately bringing the next generation of electro-mobility to the road”.
So, there you have it: BMW will roll out its posh electric machine in five years from now, arriving a bit late to the tech party, but opening a new era of motoring for the German car maker.
At the same time, BMW will have its work cut out with other projects, as Krüger explained.
“It is still unclear which drivetrain will prevail, but we are prepared: We are optimising the combustion engine with Efficient Dynamics NEXT, in which efficient diesel engines will continue to play an important role. At the same time, we are electrifying our vehicles – focusing on battery power for short distances and fuel cells for longer trips. In this area, we are working closely with our partner, Toyota.”
BMW Vision Next 100 concept pictured