BMW teases iNext initial design concept


While a number of mostly Chinese fledgling brands have been touting some larger, SUV-based models, there's not been much in the way of larger EVs for those who want or need a bigger vehicle and fancy going all-electric, but the iNEXT is expected to be of a similar size to the X5. Though, according to Krüger, we should see a Vision Concept of this upcoming fully-electric, fully-connected and highly autonomous BMW later this year.

At today's Annual General Meeting of BMW AG, the group's Chairman of the Board of Harald Krüger, unveiled an initial design concept for the BMW iNEXT. For the first time, we're combining all key technologies for future mobility in one vehicle.

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"The iNext project is our building kit for the future", he said.

Latest reports suggest that when the iNEXT launches it won't offer fully autonomous driving. He also promised that this rendering would be followed up by a "vision vehicle" - i.e. a close-to-production concept - before the end of 2018. And I can reveal that we will be presenting the iNEXT as a vision vehicle later this year.

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Although not one of the official five levels of autonomy, "level 3.5" will bridge the gap between 3 and 4; the former allows part-time fully autonomous driving but requires human intervention in certain circumstances, while level 4 allows completely human-free driving altogether.

Likewise the i4, which will be build in Munich (no specific timeframe). So now you have the same auto that the Internet refers to with two different names, depending on the timeline.

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"A few years ago, we made a mistake". "Now, the letter "i" is coming to our core BMW brand. With an increased range of about 700 kilometres, electric models will become entirely practical for everyday use", said Krüger.