Production version of the semi-autonomous concept will be the first on BMW's versatile new architecture
29 November 2018

The production version of the BMW Vision iNext concept due in 2020 will be the first car from the firm to use a radical new platform that will enable it to produce conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, plug-in hybrids and pure EVs using the same basic architecture and on the same production line.

The Vision iNext concept is on display at the Los Angeles motor show, along with several of the systems BMW is developing for its advanced autonomous systems.

The production version of the iNext concept – which BMW is terming a ‘Sports Activity Vehicle’ (SAV), in a nod to the original X5 from 1999 – will be built on the new architecture that will underpin future BMW models from the 3-series upwards, and will allow a rear-engine configuration in some. 

The firm will build all of its future models on two platforms, one for front-wheel drive cars and one for all- and rear-wheel drive machines.

On the latter platform pure EVs, such as the Vision iNext, will use a rear-mounted drivetrain as standard. Plug-in hybrid models will have both a rear-mounted electric engine and a transversely-mounted ICE driving the front wheels. Pure ICE models will retain the classic BMW rear-drive layout.

Other options will include twin-engined all-wheel drive EVs and conventional mechanical all-wheel drive ICE models. 

BMW sources say that the maximum range of the pure EV models could be up to 450 miles in future X series cars (which are likely to have a bigger battery capacity), while the plug-in hybrids will get a range of around 60 miles.

The new architecture will also incorporate a new autonomous technology platform which will eventually offer level five autonomy, which does not require a driver. BMW showed all three prototype autonomy ‘PAD’ processing units in LA, the smallest of which will first appear in 2021 on the production iNext offering ‘hands off and eyes off’ level three autonomy at up to 80mph on motorways.

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The level four and five autonomous systems will enter testing in 2021 on a fleet of pilot cars. Level four aims for ‘hands off and mind off’ autonomy in urban situations, while level five will offer driverless urban travel at up to 70kmh.

The somewhat controversial styling of the iNext reflects the new vehicle in only a ‘broad-brush’ way, according to BMW insiders. However, the real thing will be a crossover.

Expect the sheer surfaces, especially around the sides and rear, to be translated into production, along with the large windows and an interior that sees much of the switchgear blended in the interior as touch-sensitive surfaces that appear on demand.

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Comments
8

29 November 2018
It looks like a fat vagina.

29 November 2018

  It may not be a looker but Cars in the not to distant future won’t necessarily need to look good on the outside because all interest will be in connectivity, being able to interact with others while sitting in a Car that’ll take you where you want, get you there in the quickest safest time and you as passengers ( won’t need a Driver) will arrive stress free caught up with work on the way in or watched Tv or even have an extra forty winks too!, the futures bright?...right?

Peter Cavellini.

29 November 2018

I think you want porn hub...

Daz

29 November 2018

BMW need a new Head of Design ASAP. I'm sure that the tech will be top drawer and they are really trying with this grille thing but it is utterly hideous. Staggeringly ugly everywhere they use it.

29 November 2018
I agree it is rather ugly. I will refrain from comparing it to anything overtly anatomical.

29 November 2018

If BMW has found a way to preserve structural integrity by using slim A-pillar and do without any B-pillar, then this car is truly revolutionary. If not, then it's a worthless concept car, a big lie even.

29 November 2018

Agreed, like Humberview says it is a pretty big opening.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

29 November 2018

The new chassis is one that does not exist. You would have to explain what is bold about it. 

When one looks a the photos the car looks like a BMW i3 blown up.

 Is this supposed to be the Phaeton " successor "?

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