Three new BMW i models have been confirmed, including the i8 Roadster, a revised i3 and a brand new model called BMW i NEXT.
In 2018, the i8 will get a droptop sibling, called i8 Roadster, a version of which was revealed at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas back in January as the BMW i Vision Future Interaction concept (pictured).
No details have been confirmed but sources say it will closely reflect the i8 Roadster concept first revealed in 2012, and most recently seen as a doorless version at CES.
Following the success of the i8 coupe, the i8 Roadster was an inevitable next step. Its engine and performance figures are sure to echo the coupe, which uses a three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine alongside the electric motor. It has 357bhp, a 0-62mph time of 4.4sec and a top speed of 155mph.
A new BMW i3 in both pure electric and range-extender forms has also been announced, with a revised design and an increased battery capacity of 50%.
Another confirmation by BMW is an all-new i model launched early in the next decade, to be called BMW i NEXT.
Speaking at BMW’s annual accounts press conference, Harald Kruger, chairman of the board of management at BMW AG, described the new model as the “new spearhead of innovation and technology”.
“It will enable us to take BMW i to the next level,” said Kruger. He said it will cover all aspects relevant for future cars, including autonomous driving, digital connectivity and intelligent lightweight construction as well as the next generation of electro-mobility.”
Remarking on the success of BMW i, Kruger said: “With BMW i, we have managed to very quickly create a globally known brand that embodies sustainability. Since its introduction in 2013, we have delivered more than 50,000 BMW i vehicles to customers. Today, the BMW i lineup has a larger market presence than any other electric vehicle. BMW i assumes a key role as an enabler for our BMW core brand: BMW i attracts new customers to BMW.”
BMW is quickly gaining momentum with electrified drivetrains, having already announced it will offer all BMW models with a plug-in hybrid drive operation in coming years. From July, customers will be able to choose from a total of seven BMW models that are either fully electric or fitted with a plug-in hybrid drive.