News - BMW
BMW promises 'revolutionary' i car by 2020
What Next: Celebrating its 100th year, BMW has laid it on the line as it charts its future with electrified vehicles, autonomous driving technologies and digital advances.
Seven electrified models, more M cars on the way for BMW under its Next plan
17 March 2016
BMW has promised to usher in the next decade with a revolutionary new
electrified i model that “will raise premium individual mobility to previously
The 100-year-old German luxury car and motorcycle group has also confirmed it
was planning an open-top plug-in i8 roadster as part of a seven-model electric
and plug-in hybrid i range across the group from 2016.
A plug-in Mini is part of the company's future as detailed by BMW executives in
a sweeping outline of its future under a program dubbed Strategy Number One >
Speaking at the BMW AG accounts press conference in Munich overnight, BMW
chairman Harald Krueger said BMW intended to set the standard for the auto
“We will lead the BMW Group into a new era, one in which we will transform and
shape both individual mobility and the entire sector in a permanent way,” he
Earlier this month at a 100th anniversary event, BMW unveiled a concept car,
Vision Next 100, that might provide a pointer to the “revolutionary” i car
promised by BMW by the end of the decade.
Mr Krueger revealed that BMW was already working on fifth-generation
electrified vehicles, even before the fourth generation had been launched.
Apart from electrified vehicles, BMW's plan for its next 100 years calls for
leadership in autonomous vehicles, expansion of its M range of high-performance
vehicles, new luxury cars in most classes, development of vehicle platforms to
suit a variety of powertrains including hydrogen fuel-cell, and embracing
vehicle digitalisation in all its forms to make life easy for its customers.
Simplification of vehicle architectures is likely to save the company €100
million ($A149m) in coming years, it says.
Mr Krueger said the i component of the plan, BMW iNext, heralded the next era
“This symbol of our technology leadership will demonstrate how we will bring
the future of mobility into series production,” he said, adding that BMW i was
a driver of innovation and a technological trailblazer for the company.
“The brand develops trendsetting technologies and services, subsequently
transferring them to the BMW model range.”
BMW revealed it is planning to launch a new all-electric i3 city car with extra
battery capacity and longer driving range by the end of this year.
The company did not spell out how it plans to expand its M product range, but
added that it also intends to offer more enhanced M Performance models in
high-volume segments “with a view to capitalising on the growth and earnings
potential of the BMW M brand”.
BMW executives confirmed that its British upper luxury brand Rolls-Royce had
started testing its new aluminium space-frame architecture that will underpin
all future Rolls-Royce model lines.
“This is the first stage of a development that will see a new generation of
Rolls-Royce motor cars become available from early 2018,” it said.
Autonomous vehicle development is being handled with BMW by a team dubbed
Project i 2.0, with the goal of cementing BMW as a leader in the field.
“A clear focus will be placed on high-definition digital maps, sensor
technology, cloud technology and artificial intelligence – the decisive areas
for success in this segment,” it said.
BMW is one of a collective of European companies to have bought into Here maps
as part of this drive towards autonomous driving.
On digital advances, BMW said it saw the changes sweeping the world of mobility
through digitalisation as “an excellent opportunity to make mobile life
simpler, safer and more convenient, thereby inspiring completely new customer
“In the coming years, the group will focus on broadening its technological
expertise, expanding the scope of digital connectivity between people, vehicles
and services and actively strengthening sustainable mobility,” it said.