Speaking with Top Gear at the LA Auto Show, Hooydonk confirmed that the production version of the iNext will share a lot of its design with the concept.
“It’s a vision car so it shows all the ideas that we have and that we’re working on,” Hooydonk said. “The production car is a little far away at the moment, 2021 is what we’re aiming for. By and large you will certainly recognize this concept car in the production vehicle.”
And while the front end of the iNext might remind some people the face of a rodent, there are some cool details scattered around, including the protruding taillights.
“The tail end of that car will be very aerodynamic,” Hooydonk added. “The glasshouse tapers strongly to the rear. You need some vertical trailing off edges and the tail lamp plays a role in that. Nearly all our tail lamps do it; we always make sure there’s a trailing edge where the air can come off cleanly.”
Hooydonk says that the process of designing BMW i cars is more entertaining, as the design team has way more freedom than say a replacement for an existing BMW saloon or SUV.
“We consider BMW i as a start-up within the inner walls of our company. The job of i is to innovate, excite and inspire, both in technology and design terms. We feel much freer when we design an i product. The i3 and i8 opened up a door we didn’t even know was there for the design of the core products.”
Part of the reason the iNext’s front “grille” is so massive is because it houses sensors for the radar-based autonomous system. The iX3 concept also had a similar treatment up front but the iNext Vision takes things to a whole new level, especially when combined with those slim headlights.
Realistically, BMW could tone down the front end and make most people happy but that’s something we have to wait and see.