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.

16 responses to “Report: BMW is planning a major push into all-electric vehicles”

  1. Pedro Lima says:

    2021 LOL.

  2. Scott says:

    2021 for high automated driving is still early enough. At this time the world (with some exceptions) is not ready for that technology anyway. Look at all the stupid Tesla owners doing whatever stuff while driving…
    And I believe there will be some other “normal” EV´s from them earlier, even if the market/ infrastructure is not ready by then…

  3. Kim Conrad Jorgensen says:

    “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.”

    You just described a Tesla S P90D which is for sale now, seats up to 7 and isn’t just a silly toy. Why wait?, oh that was BMW’s add I just quoted:-))

    • Kaisuke971 says:

      Not really. The Model S doesn’t produce quite as much power as Tesla claims (the P85D was quoted at 691hp, in reality produced more like 550), and relies more on its immense torque. Same for the range, the owners rarely see 300+ miles @ 100% of charge.

      Tesla doesn’t offer neither four wheel steering, torque vectoring and active suspensions. In fact besides their good powertrain and what is probably the most advanced cruise control out there, the Model S doesn’t offer much really.

      • Matt Stokes says:

        Hopefully the i8 won’t weigh as much as the Tesla and therefore won’t need crazy power figures. Horsepower doesn’t improve braking or cornering, and neither does weighing over two-tonnes.

        • Kaisuke971 says:

          I like the fact that as soon as they started the development of hybrid and full electric powertrains, BMW also began to really focus on weight saving, alongside improving their cars’ driving dynamics (with all the technologies stated here, that are already present on the 7).

          I feel like if we really want to shift to electric powertrains, we’d be better off optimizing what we have now, and then fully integrate them. and that’s what the big boys (BMW, Porsche, Audi, Mercedes) are doing anyway.

  4. Kaisuke971 says:

    2022 though… That should put the next gen i8 in 488’s successor territory. I hope BMW doesn’t mess its future up.

  5. John says:

    I guess I’ll never drive an i5…

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