A report from Automotive News indicates that the next BMW i model won’t be introduced until after 2020.

Exactly what model that will turn out to be is still being decided. “We are still in the strategic research phase where we brainstorm,” BMW Group R&D chief Klaus Froehlich told Automotive News. “Teams that start with a white sheet of paper. They talk with customers, hold workshops, then present their ideas and we decide.”

Whatever it turns out to be, it won’t be a re-packaged existing model. Froehlich said that the mission of the i subbrand is to change the perception of how a low-emissions car should look and perform, therefore there are no plans to re-package an existing BMW Group model and call it an i model.

In the meantime, BMW will continue to improve the i8 and i3. “We have a minimum 20 percent battery density improvement every three years, thus over the i3 and i8’s life cycle, we will offer more performance, more range or a combination of the two,” Frohlich said.

Unfortunately, current i8 and i3 owners won’t benefit from the more powerful electrical powertrains. “I don’t think a retrofit makes sense. When better batteries are available, we could then offer models with a longer range or with the same range but at a lower price.” says Frohlich. He added that replacing the batteries is very complex because they are integrated and bonded into the chassis.


Source: Bimmerpost