There’s really nothing new about frunks. The idea of have a ‘front trunk’ began as soon as automakers started putting engines in the rear. Then, when engines moved to the middle—in mid-engine supercars like the Lamborghini Miura—cars with rear and front trunks began to appear. However, even mid-engine cars are sort of compromised, as their engines ate up much of their rear luggage space. Not so with EVs, though, as electric vehicles have no such engines, so they can have large trunks fore and aft. However, BMW did away with the idea of a front trunk in its EVs, something that it once had. But why?
When the BMW i3 first launched, it had a tiny frunk, barely big enough for the charging cable it came with. Still, it was something, a waterproof place to put a briefcase or a few grocery items. Since then, though, BMW’s two new EVs—the i4 and iX—completely lack front trunks and many EV customers are bewildered by this because so many other brands do have front trunks in similar segments.
BMW hasn’t really publicly said why neither car has a frunk but, unofficially, the reason is that too few customers actually use it to make investing in designing it worth it. Ain’t that some penny-pinching B.S.?
To be fair, BMW is sort of right. It’s a brand that heavily relies on focus group-data to determine what its customers want and don’t want. BMW currently uses the empty engine bays of its two EVs to stash electronics and hoses, which does eat into the frunk space. But that seems like an excuse to sneak past doing the bare minimum to get sales. Customers might say they don’t use frunks much but I’d be willing to bet they’d rather have a frunk than not.
Admittedly, I sort of get it in the BMW i4. That was a pre-existing internal combustion engine chassis that wasn’t meant to house a full EV, so shoehorning an EV power plant and battery into its typically gas-powered chassis meant that BMW needed to get creative to fit it all. Hence the engine bay full of wires. But in the BMW iX, it’s not so simple. That car was designed as a clean-sheet design by some of BMW’s best. So a frunk could very well have been engineered into it.
Frunks are great, they offer more practicality than that of a standard sedan, as they offer literally two trunks instead of one. It’s a shame BMW doesn’t use frunks anymore because, even if they aren’t used often, they’re great to have and do come in handy. Hopefully BMW stops pinching pennies and gives European markets the electric Neue Klasse cars that they need,