Despite earlier reports saying otherwise, BMW has not killed the i9. At least not in the U.S. where the label has resurfaced when BMW reapplied to file the trademark. It is unclear at this stage whether this is just a formality or part of a more substantial plan.
The BMW i9 name has been around for years and has signified various concepts over time. They range from a real product over a cancellation to a high-end something. Then with the introduction of the electrified i-series, the i9 was declared dead and to be replaced with a larger i7 reportedly.
Yet the latest trademark filing gives the i9 saga yet another twist. Autoguide broke the news first but no one seems to have any definite information. It might as well be that BMW simply renewed the trademark as it was only good until July 31, 2018 in the States. Yet, BMW is certainly keeping their options open, given they have 25 electrified vehicles planned by 2025. It is only after that a new concept like the i9 could come to life. New projects would take at least 6-7 years of development and testing, and BMW has yet to even make a reference to a new flagship electric car.
The new and confirmed future, will see the launch of the iNext, which BMW has dubbed their vision vehicle. The electric car will debut as a study later this year before hitting the shelves by 2021. The iNext will be made at the BMW plant in Dingolfing. The facility is close to Erfurt, where CATL of China is currently constructing a battery cell factory (we reported). BMW agreed to buy cells worth over a billion euros and had recommended Erfurt reportedly. CATL will also supply electric cars from Volkswagen and Daimler with their batteries for electric vehicles.