BMW has released a single teaser image of a design concept expected to materialise into an upcoming all-electric SUV, called the iNext and due to arrive in 2021.
Unveiled at BMW’s annual general meeting (AGM), the iNext could potentially preview a new flagship for the brand’s ‘i’ division of electrified vehicles.
The teaser image shows a concept vehicle in profile, sporting a slender roofline and what appears to be wheelarch cladding, suggesting the iNext will take the form of an SUV.
During the AGM, BMW boss Harald Krueger said the iNext will be equipped with “fifth-generation battery technology” that will enable “an increased range of about 700 kilometres.”
The iNext has been developed alongside the i4 liftback EV, which was shown in pre-production form at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show under the name i Vision Dynamics concept.
A modular platform will be used to build the iNext, with Mr Krueger describing its platform as “our building kit for the future.”
“It will benefit the entire company and all our brands,” he said. “For the first time, we are combining all key technologies for future mobility in one vehicle.”
Mr Krueger also added that the iNext will feature “highly automated driving”, suggesting the iNext could become a halo model for the iPerformance sub-brand as it shifts its focus more towards autonomy.
When the production version of the iNext arrives, its autonomous systems will be capable of navigating itself in highway conditions. The technology is being developed and fine-tuned in-house at BMW’s research centre campus outside Munich.
The production iNext will be built at BMW’s factory in Dingolfing, Germany, the brand’s largest production facility which produces the M5, 5 Series, 4 and 6 Series Gran Coupe, and plug-in hybrid versions of the 5 and 7 Series.
According to Mr Krueger, the iNext will be revealed as a Vision concept vehicle later this year, and whispers are suggesting the Paris motor show in October could play host.
The process of homogenising BMW’s platforms and powertrains will also be complete around the turn of the decade, which will allow the brand to offer electrified versions across its entire range.
“We are enabling our plants for a wide range of drivetrains, using flexible architectures. From 2020, we will be able to fit all model series with any type of drivetrain,” Mr Krueger said.
BMW is aiming to offer 25 electrified models in its line-up by 2025, with 12 of those being full-electric vehicles.
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