BMW isn’t letting its electric vehicle program be taken lightly and hence, the company plans replacements for the i3 and i8 by 2022, along with a new entrant dubbed Project i20 internally (but likely to be known as the i5 or i6 when it hits streets) on track for 2021.
This project i20 has a fully electric drivetrain, like the i3 before it, and will also offer BMW’s most sophisticated autonomous driving features to date.
The i20… no lets stop calling it that befire it feels as if we are getting too excited for a Hyundai. This i5/i6 will have multiple drivetrain options, ranging from 136 hp at the low end, to a powerful 247 hp at the top. Automobile magazine describes it as a “bigger, prettier, and more aerodynamic i3″.
This gives me a feeling that it will bode well with the current Beamer’s electric buyers because if they are ready to pay for something as ugly as the i3, the project i20 shouldn’t be a problem. Of course this lies completely on our imagination, that this new project would be designed by keeping its competitors in mind, the teslas and electric porsches.
But, the bigger news to me are the self-driving features. There aren’t any details about what’s planned for the i20 initially beyond that it’ll have “advanced autonomous” features, but the report claims a fully self-driving version is planned for a debut in 2025 and we won’t want them to hurry up to end up testing it with customers, like some others.
The i3 updates planed for 2022 include a number of different proposals currently in consideration, including one design that uses the current carbon-fiber body build, one with an all-aluminum chassis, and a final version with a blend of a number of different materials. That means its sort of getting an M treatment with its carbon fibre kits to make it lighter. Alas! I wish it looked better.
The i8’s update, which the magazine says could slip to 2023, looks like it will abandon the current hybrid design and opt for an all-electric three-motor, 750 hp drivetrain with batteries boasting a 300 mile driving range. Now this is something we wouldn’t want to be waiting for. The i8 is already an amazing beast with the looks that gives a ferrari a run for its money. BMW planning a big 700 hp motor for it means that they will enter some serious supercar territory and its gonna be incomplete without the M, so will it be an Mi8!!
These all sound like solid additions to BMW’s EV lineup, but the project i20 is probably the most intriguing, not only because we’ll get to see it before the others if the roadmap stays true but, because of its self-driving capabilities.
Also, it feels like BMW is ready to fill in the gap between the extremely low i3 and the extreme high i8 to send some shockwaves into the boisterous tesla territory. Thats typical beamer style.
You know him as the face of our bi-weekly tech and startup news show, The Bulletin. A voracious news-gulper, with intense interests in new-age tech developments.