Report: BMW is planning a major push into all-electric vehicles

BMW i | August 9th, 2016 by 16
BMW i5 rendering 750x500

Under the program Project i20, BMW is preparing a future i5 or i6 electric car which will arrive in late 2021.

According to a report by Automobile Magazine, BMW engineers are hard at work developing the next generation electric cars. Under the program Project i20, BMW is preparing a future i5 or i6 electric car which will arrive in late 2021. In addition to a pure electric drivetrain, the car will also feature the most advanced autonomous capability yet from BMW. Compared to the i3 and i8 models, the Project i20 car is based on evolution of the hybrid aluminum/steel structure used in current BMWs, paired with carbon fiber parts. While the lightweight construction of the i3 and i8 is still ahead of its time, the production costs are quite high which eats into the margins.

The same report says that Projecti20 will boast a choice of motors ranging from 136 hp to 247 hp, four-wheel drive, a low center of gravity, and an extremely tight turning circle. Design wise, the car is said to be a bigger and better looking BMW i3.

BMW i5 rendering 750x423

BMW’s next i3 is also on the map and now scheduled for 2022. BMW is allegedly evaluating three proposals for the car, one of which emulates the current car’s carbon-fiber construction, another uses all-aluminum construction, and the third features a blend of five or six materials.

The i8 plug-in hybrid is also due for replacement in 2022-2023. What’s interesting though is the powertrain of the next i8. The current i8’s three-cylinder, range-extending internal combustion engine will be ditched in favor of three high-revving (25,000rpm) electric motors producing a total of 750 hp and more potent batteries capable of delivering a 300-mile range. Also part of the package are four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, torque vectoring, and an active suspension system that scans the road ahead. This might be the supercar we’ve all been waiting for.

Along with these new updates to the BMW i lineup, a fully autonomous model is also planned for 2025, as announced by BMW earlier this year.

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