BMW IX3 Leaked
BMW’s i4 Concept may be the EV the brand currently has to promote, but it’s the iX3 that’s poised to become the brand’s all-electric cash cow. It’s entering a market space most other manufacturers agreed showed enough promise to launch other reasonably sized, plug-in crossovers (e.g. Tesla Model Y, Mercedes EQC, Jaguar E-Pace, Audi E-Tron). These are the vehicles seen as helping EVs pitch into the mainstream, offering both the planet’s preferred body style and adequate range for most commuters.
Up until now, we’ve seen most of what the industry has to offer in the premium electric crossover segment. Even the iX3 has been thrice teased by the manufacturer since announcing its existence at Auto China in 2018. But those were typically issued to us as conceptual renderings between spy shots of a vehicle that looked very much like the standard BMW X3. Recently leaked online, the production-ready iX3 hasn’t altered that opinion. In fact, it’s probably destined to end up being the most normal-looking EV on sale for a while.
BMW Plotting Production of New Hybrid Supercar
Despite the mainstream automotive market taking a wrench to the face, supercars continue doing exceedingly well. In fact, in 2017 the United Kingdom claimed “specialty car” registrations were up 40 percent over 2012, despite the broader market seeing a decline of nearly 10 percent. Meanwhile, vehicle prices the world over show a larger gap between mainstream automobiles and their high-end counterparts.
As it looks for a replacement for the i8, it seems BMW wants something more ambitions from a performance perspective. While the i8 was a supercar in name and exterior design, the hybrid two-seater lacked the kind of earth-shattering acceleration and handling to truly qualify. Bimmer’s next project is rumored to remedy that while keeping the i-brand’s electrified mentality alive.
The Vision INext is BMW's Crystal Ball, Slated for Production in 2021
BMW has showcased the new flagship SUV for the electric i brand. Called the Vision iNext, the vehicle’s aim is to make customers appreciate what’s on the inside — which is important when you’re moving into mobility and out of driving. BMW claims that the model represents the union of vehicular autonomy, connectivity, electrification, and services. It also represents the end of the car as we currently know it.
Don’t confuse the iNext as the death knell of motoring, though. This remains a concept car, not something that you’ll see appearing in your neighbor’s garage in the coming months. Despite promising a production model in 2021, this is still a conceptual exercise — BMW’s attempt at building a crystal ball that allows it to peer into the future. While we’re not going to argue the validity of clairvoyance or scrying, we will suggest that the utility vehicle is probably a more useful forecasting tool than a glass orb and a gut feeling.
Back to Normality: BMW Previews IX3 SUV Ahead of 2020 Launch
It’s been a while since BMW pushed out an all-electric vehicle. The i3 was launched in 2013 and things has been relatively quiet at Bavarian Motor Works ever since. However, the brand maintained that more i-badged vehicles would arrive once it gets EV production costs under control, stating that its next electric would be the iX3 crossover.
Arriving in Beijing this week in concept form, the vehicle looks refreshingly like a production model — with a few stylistic touches separating itself from BMW’s core fleet. You might even mistake it for a refreshed X3, and that’s kind of the point. For the most part, the company’s initial foray into electrification served to test the market’s willingness for such vehicles and act as a bit of a spectacle. That’s not to be the case with the new batch.
BMW wants the upcoming EVs to have more mainstream success than the i3 or i8, and normalizing them is a big part of that. That’s also the reason it chose to base the next one on the high-volume X3.
BMW Switching to Flexible EV Architecture for All Models in 2020
Earlier this year, BMW let fly that it had completed development on a flexible vehicle architecture that would enable electrification of every model series in its stable. By 2025, BMW Group expects electrified vehicles to account for between 15 to 25 percent of its sales, but it wanted to be ready in case 100 percent was a possibility.
We know that plug-in versions of just about every model are forthcoming — the big news being the fully electric X3 for 2020. But we didn’t have a solid timeline for widespread implementation of the new platform, capable of accepting electric, plug-in hybrid and internal combustion powertrains. Now we do. According to management board member Klaus Fröhlich, it’s also going to begin in 2020.
BMW Concept Sedan, Slated for Production, to Bolster Electric Sub-brand
BMW showcased the i Vision Dynamics concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week — making it the third model for its i low-emissions electro-centric sub-brand. As a potential rival for Tesla’s Model 3, the i Vision Dynamics has all the hallmarks of an evolutionary automobile: an electric powerplant, absent grille, and the most boring name imaginable.
With windows tinted so black that you couldn’t tell if the sun was behind the wheel, the concept car is probably little more than a shell. We’ll take it at face value, noting that it exists as the physical representation of BMW’s promise to modernize as much as it does as a prototypical production model. However the automaker did say it will go on sale in 2021 — which is more than a little surprising.
While You Were Sleeping: Cadillac ATS-V+, Holden Monza and Lamborghini Urus Receives Greenlight
This edition of While You Were Sleeping offers up a bit more than usual. Instead of just overnight, we are going to try to cover as many topics from over the long weekend as possible with additional commentary.
Here we go!