BMWi got its own strategy and so there may not be a next-gen i3 and i8 again and again. Instead, expect whole new models, that showcase novel technology and use cases, BMWi bosses told Autocar.
So the future of the i3 and i8 is uncertain, according to BMWi boss Robert Irlinger and his head of design Domagoj Dukec. Different from BMW, where the 3 series includes a whole range of cars for many generations, the i3 and i8 are standalone models, bespoke to fit certain technologies and use cases.
When speaking to Autocar, BMWi designer Domagoj Dukec compared the role of the i8 to the M1 supercar and said that “with new i3 and i8, I don’t know; for now, we don’t think about it. For i, there won’t always be an i3, then an i3 after – i is not a parallel universe of BMW.”
But there is of course a whole galaxy set out for the i-label with BMW having trademarked nine more names with i. The i3 and i8 are only the first of the family and there are another twelve electrified models planned by 2025 (we reported).
All i-vehicles shall address a particular need or challenge. Next one up is the X3 due by 2020. There is also the Vision Dynamics concept car scheduled for 2021 and codenamed i20 and not to forget the iNext (2021).
The electrification strategy at BMW sits on two platforms. CLAR for rear-wheel drives and FAAR for front-wheel-drive models. Both CLAR and FAAR can carry any motor set-up, that is ICE, all-electric or PHEV and also various battery sizes.
Back to the i3 – BMW’s only all-electric model – and it is still selling fast. So there is of course no need to discontinue at the moment, instead it got an update.
Nevertheless, the determining factor for any future i-car will be which new technology BMW wants to showcase and ultimately apply to its standard model range.