In late 2018, BMW will give us a glimpse at its new and first autonomous vehicle, which has been referred to as the iNEXT. The fully electric, self-driving car will arrive in 2021 but BMW is expected to unveil a concept version of it ahead of the unveil. According to a report by Auto Express, the iNEXT will take the form of an SUV similar in size to an X5 with seating for five.
Head of BMW i Product Management Alexander Kotouc told the UK magazine: “I can promise you that this year you will see something and touch something – you need to let people experience what is coming.
“It’s groundbreaking; the iNEXT will be more of the shape and size of an X5. It will have a completely different interior and be able to seat five people.”
The car will offer Level 3 automation that requires little to no human intervention, but it will still offer the driver the ability to take the steering in their hands. BMW also claims that the iNEXT “will also have a new and future-oriented interior and the most modern networking technologies.” Eventually the iNEXT will be capable of level four and five autonomous driving, where occupants have hardly any input.
Because the platform is flexible, battery sizes for all electric models, like the iNEXT, will range from 60kWh to 120kWh, which will mean an all-electric range of at least 280 miles up to 435 miles.
The new BMW electric motors are rumored to offer 134 hp, 255 hp, 335 hp and 443 hp states of tune, but it’s unclear which one will end up in the iNEXT.
The design of the iNEXT is also close to being signed of, according to Kotouc: “I saw last week the latest design ideas and I can say it’s really impressive. It’s looking bold; people will buy it even if they don’t want an electric car because of the design.”