BMW is taking their time developing their third “i” model. After years of speculations around an i5 sedan, the rumormill churns out that BMW might finally settle on an i6 crossover with a launch target date set for 2020. According to Car Magazine, CEO Harald Krüger, his R&D and design chiefs Klaus Fröhlich and Adrian van Hooydonk are embracing the idea and sketches of a crossover to resemble the proportions of the Citroen DS5. The BMW’s shape is classic monospace, all extended roofline and streamlined frontal area, in a bid to reduce drag to maximize range. The i6 is a little longer than a DS.
The new i6 will likely be packed with the latest and greatest tech developed by BMW, including iDrive generation 6, more efficient batteries and a third new architecture, this time for bespoke electric vehicles. The new FSAR architecture/platform features a flat floor above a sandwich section to be filled with batteries. It’s conceived as a modular platform, allowing it to stretch or shrink.
The big question remains around the drivetrain, choices being pure battery electric vehicle (BEV), hybrid, fuel cell. To reach 60,000 units a year, the i6 will likely boast a more varied material mix, including carbon fiber.
BMW execs are said to favor a new lithium-polymer battery, which is reportedly capable of tripling the energy capacity to about 500kWh, while cutting costs in half. This technology, which is supported by key suppliers like Bosch, reduces the weight of the battery pack required for a real-world driving range of 300 miles from 600 to 200kg. Power would be transmitted to the road by either two or four electric motors.
Scheduled for 2020, the i6 is likely to make an appearance way in advance, in the form of a concept, but it remains unknown if BMW will use their 100th anniversary this year to unveil the future of alleged electric crossover.