In recent years, the electric car has become quite the darling of mainstream press, environmental groups and those addicted to instant monstrous torque.
Whilst Tesla may have stolen the limelight, many traditional automakers are catching up fast. One of them is BMW. The Germans already have the small i3 hatch and hybrid i8 sports car, but what if the void between the two was filled with an Model S-fighting, luxury performance sedan?
Let’s take a look at what could transpire.
i Vision Dynamics Styling:
BMW’s most recent electric sedan concept, the i Vision Dynamics, previews the styling direction for its upcoming Tesla-fighter – and oh boy, does it look odd.
In taming the concept’s polarizing design, the double-Edsel grille has been massaged into a wider, less offensive shape. The shoulder-line now cascades down onto the fenders, then into the lower intake graphic for an elegant stance.
A bugbear of the concept was the lack of traditional BMW DNA; sure it has the side blades and an abstract interpretation the twin-kidney grille, but there’s no Hofmeister kink in the C-pillar and the overall look resembles a bar of soap on wheels.
To readdress this, we’ve incorporated a much more traditional greenhouse and sculptured side-surfacing, however the unique window-line rise on the B-pillars remain. Unlike the concept, fenders are exaggerated and emphasize a more powerful dynamic prowess.
Potent Electric Performance:
Unlike the smaller i3, this offering (possibly to be named i5 or i6?) will have good mileage with blistering performance. Expect it to mirror the i Vision concept’s range of 373 miles (600 km), with acceleration down in the low 4-second bracket and a top speed excess of 120 mph (200km/h).
The big unknown quantity is what size battery will be used; however as conjecture has it, three sizes could be offered, with varying levels of performance and range.
One point of interest is BMW’s strategic technical partner Toyota. The Japanese brand is developing breakthrough solid-state batteries, which aim to offer twice the range of current electric cars and improve charging times to just mere minutes. But will this technical partnership extend to solid-state batteries? …Watch this space.
Contending With More Than Tesla:
It has to be said, some of the biggest barriers to buying an electric car are perceptions around range anxiety and recharging times.
But BMW’s biggest challenge will come from the likes of Porsche’s upcoming Mission E. Offering sleek styling that resembles a Panamera from the future, the Mission E will provide fast acceleration, great handling and a dual-motor layout. Where BMW is expected to counteract, is in lounge-room luxury, autonomous driving technology, battery range and pricing.
However, don’t get too excited just yet; expect a launch of the real deal somewhere near 2021.
Tell us what you think of this design study in the comments below.
By Josh Byrnes
Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes