With the future iNEXT, X8 and M Next supercar scheduled to premiere in the coming years, interesting and bright times are settling in for the Bavarians. BMW throttles in for a major makeover as automotive brand in the following years, with some sensational models planned for unveiling. The intention is to launch a series of flagship, hallmark new vehicles that define themselves as design and technology trendsetters.
BMW seems to be in need to recapture the attention of the industry with something really daring. BMW has always seen themselves as leaders in the automotive space, but recently, pundits are claiming the opposite.
While not a tragic situation, many have expressed their opinion that, lately, BMW has been caught off pace and was left lagging behind in terms of electrification and new powertrain technologies. The new wave of models is just around the next corner, but still a year away and are expected to boost confidence in the brand. However, we need to recognize that BMW is doing the right things, slowly but surely, as the company wants to avoid veering off the correct path.
The new BMW brand philosophy will employ a three pillar approach, for each brand. The new design and technology flagships are to be revealed step by step.
BMW iNEXT (iX)
The new iNEXT (that could likely be called iX) will be the BMW i crown jewel, coming in 2021. The all-electric SAV will kick off a complete revolution in autonomous driving assistance, powertrain and digital technologies. The upcoming EV will be entering X5 territory when it comes out and that also makes sense as it will battle with offerings from Audi and Mercedes-Benz, which are similar in size.
BMW says the iNext was developed to address key questions for the future of car – Autonomy Connectivity Electric Services.
The second interesting automobile to arrive in the BMW core brand portfolio is the all new X8 high-ranging luxury Sports Activity Coupe. Reports and debates related to the new X8 have intensified since the advent of the X7. If the latest rumors are correct, the G09 X8 will eventually be produced starting with July 2022.
Contrary to initial beliefs, the X8 will not be a coupe variant derived from the X7, like in the case of the X6 (which derives from the X5). The new BMW X8 will boast a unique and striking design philosophy, with the characteristic sloping roofline, muscular shoulders, high ground clearance to support the imposing looks and an exclusive 4-seat architecture for the cabin.
As well, we expect the BMW X8 to feature a luxury-enhanced interior, mostly different from that of the X7. It is important to note that the BMW M division will be in charge of the testing and development of the future G09 series, so expect a highly dynamic chassis and powertrain to underpin the exclusive luxury SAC.
We believe that the new X8 will be offered only as range-topping M Performance and X8 M full-bred models. The entry-level version is rumored to be the X8 M45e, making use of the plug-in hybrid powertrain with the I6 petrol engine and an electric motor, developing 394 PS (388 hp).
Other M Performance models, such as a still unconfirmed M50e plug-in hybrid maximizing on the benefits of electrification, could also be on the discussion table.
The quad-turbo B57 diesel powerplant will be axed this year, so don’t expect to see an X8 M50d. However, the icing on the G09 cake will certainly be the BMW X8 M version, which could combine a re-engineered 4.4-liter V8 S63 unit mated with an electric motor for an increased peak output, that could well pass over 700 hp. We expect a 48V mild-hybrid integration there as well.
BMW M Next
Last, but not least, it looks that BMW Vision M NEXT concept supercar will be eventually greenlighted for production, with the launch probably scheduled for 2023 or 2024. The flagship BMW M model will evoke the rich motorsport experience and the heritage of the M1 classic supercar, in a modern and futuristic approach to design and powertrain technology.
With the iNEXT, X8 and the M Next supercar, the BMW brand seems fit, powerful and ready to step into the future. The new BMW will create an immense sensation and I can’t wait to see more of what’s coming.