Currently reading: Three new BMW i models announced
New i8 Roadster, an i3 with an improved range, and an all-new model called i NEXT confirmed by BMW
Rachel Burgess
News
2 mins read
16 March 2016

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).

Read our BMW i3 94Ah review here

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. 

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roverfan1984 18 March 2016

Good to see progress being made

I think its great to see progress being made in electric cars, they were invented 100+ years ago not long after petrol cars but sadly little development has taken place since. Imagine if they had developed at the same rate petrol cars have, they would be amazing nowadays and super efficient.

As it is I applaud BMW/Nissan/etc making real progress with electric cars, even if they are not massively profitable at the moment in 20 years time when electric cars are commonplace people will associate these brands as being longstanding experts in electric cars. They have turned electric cars from being an absolute joke 10 years ago (remember the G-Wiz!) to desirable modern cars. I would love an i3 or an i8, in fact if I won the lottery tomorrow my first stop would be the Bentley dealership, followed by the BMW dealership on the way home for an i3 for a day to day runaround. I think they look great inside and out, are safe and well built, and futuristic. And driving along in complete silence appeals to me far more than any diesel engined car.

Electric cars are the future, like it or not, so the more investment and development in them the better for all of us.

5wheels 18 March 2016

NEXT

should be hydrogen - they have been fiddling around with this form of propulsion lonmg enough (ten years) to have sorted all the answers
Phil R 18 March 2016

@5Wheels

10 years? Good one!
Vertigo 17 March 2016

Off + on topic

BMW's i3 needs 20,000 sales per year to turn a profit, they sold 24,000 last year. Nissan's Leaf has been selling 2-3x more than that for the last few years, so I imagine they're pretty comfortable. Tesla's Model S shows that EVs *can* sell at least as well as their combustion rivals, so we'll see what happens when these cars start shipping with 200 mile range and 100+kW charging.

Going back on topic, an i3 with 50% more range will only put it near the current 30kWh Leaf and Hyuandai Ioniq. By the time it goes on sale, it'll be close to the launch of a massively range-boosted Leaf, the 200-mile Chevrolet Bolt, and within a year of Tesla's Model 3. The i3's a great car, but when it comes to battery tech, BMW's still playing catch-up.

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