BMW has offered up its first official ‘look’ at its iNext technology flagship. The iNext, discussed several times by BMW over the last year, will be a pure electric vehicle that will serve as a introduction to what all new BMW’s will eventually be like.
There’s little to deduct from the teaser shot, which is basically an abstract drawing that could be implied as a vehicle. That said, the sketch does confirm that the iNext will be in the form of a crossover, which is something BMW has not previously acknowledged. One could also conclude it will be similar in size to teh X5 crossover.
While this sketch offers us a vague glimpse at the iNext, BMW CEO Harald Krüger has confirmed a formal concept previewing the iNext will be revealed sometime in 2019.
From a technology perspective the iNext is expected to showcase three pillars of new BMW tech. The first will be its pure electric powertrain, which is expected to center on a 120 kWh battery pack using what BMW calls its fifth-generation battery tech.
A battery of that capacity should yield a total electric range to the tune of 400 miles, perhaps more. The iNext will be one of 12 electric vehicles BMW will launch by 2025.
The iNext’s electric powertrain will pair with a new semi-autonomous driving system that will enable Level 3 autonomy. Level 3 means the vehicle will be able to be driven hands-free under certain highway conditions. BMW has confirmed the iNext will be capable of Level 4 autonomy, but it will not be enabled when it launches due to a lack of regulatory framework surrounding autonomy.
Lastly, iNext is expected to showcase BMW’s next-generation human-machine interface. Details of the system are largely unknown at this time, but are expected to include new gesture controls for the entertainment and climate control systems. The gesture controls will pair with new connectivity functionality, similar that previewed by BMW in 2016 at the CES show.
The BMW iNext is expected to launch sometime in 2021. It will follow an electrified Mini and BMW X3 in BMW’s quest to launch 12 electric vehicles by 2025.