BMW Rumored To Be Working On US-Built Tesla Model X Rival

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
bmw rumored to be working on us built tesla model x rival

Should rumors of BMW’s latest plans be true, there will soon be another electric SUV rival to the Tesla Model X on the market.

According to a report from German newspaper WirtschaftsWoche, BMW is looking to enter the electric SUV/crossover game with a rival to the upcoming Model X, Automotive News says. The entrant would be assembled in Spartanburg, S.C., home of the X Series line of crossovers and SUVs, pending board approval.

However, said SUV would not be an X waiting to give it to the Model X, but a new member of the i Series, forming a triad with the i3 city car and i8 PHEV sports car; the latter two are assembled in Leipzig, Germany.

When asked by Automotive News if the report was true, a BMW representative said it was all “speculation.” If the story does hold up, though, don’t expect to see the new entry right away. According to Evercore ISI global automotive research chief Arndt Ellinghorst, the earliest such a vehicle would hit showrooms would be in 2018.

The i Series SUV would also be the second possible rival to Tesla’s offering, with Audi entering the game in 2018 with its own all-electric SUV; said SUV is set to arrive in concept form at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show.

[Photo credit: BMW]

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6 of 11 comments
  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Jun 09, 2015

    Would not be surprised to see this being sold only in CA and NY. Automakers are being compelled to sell zero emission cars, and they'll continue to do so as long as big car markets require that they do.

  • Kyree Kyree on Jun 09, 2015

    No gull-wing doors? Feh!

    • See 1 previous
    • Luke42 Luke42 on Jun 10, 2015

      I'd take sliding doors. Someone needs to man up and put sliding doors on an SUV so that I can have them best of the minivan and the offload worlds. Extra bonus points if it has a plug. While the BWW brand is a net-negative for me personally, I think I'd get ever it for an offroad electric minivan with a electric power takeoff.

  • Bubbajet Bubbajet on Jun 09, 2015

    Tesla will succeed because the Model X looks like a regular vehicle except for the gull-wing doors. If BMW keeps the frippery to a minimum and makes something that looks like the x3, they'll do well. If it looks like the i3, or even close, it'll get an initial wave of buyers and flop. IMHO.

  • Mcs Mcs on Jun 10, 2015

    The killer app in this space will be the Tesla auto-pilot features. Once other drivers start seeing Tesla drivers casually browsing the net with their iPads - or maybe even sleeping though heavy traffic jams (you know it's going to happen), they're going to demand that feature in their cars. Gull wing, pidgeon wing, duracell powered - it won't matter. They're going to want auto-pilot features.