If there's anything BMW excels at these days, it's expanding their lineup. While some of their products have been questionable from a design perspective, you have to at least give them credit for innovating and trying new things. That goes for the "i" family too.
BMW, as you probably know, has trademarked all sorts of fancy new names, including i1 through i9. But based on some BMW execs' comments at the Detroit Auto Show, an i5 or something similar could be next.
Autoblog Green reports that while Jacob Harb, head of electric vehicle operations and strategy for BMW, declined to name the next i-model, he did say it's going to be a larger, more family-friendly take on the i3, their electric city car with an available gasoline range extender.
"You can probably take an educated guess at the next thought process, something a little bigger, maybe a little more range, relative to the i3. We've got everything trademarked and we're exploring the best, next iteration. It is coming. It's in development now." An i5 has been rumored for years, but Harb said he's flying to Munich next week to "start the discussions further" on BMW's next-gen EVs.
The i3 is already on sale in Europe, but the ones bound for the U.S. will start production in March, according to the website.
The i-cars are definitely something different for the Bavarians, but in general I'm a fan. They seem to be well-received so far and the various technologies they put to work for light weight and maximum range are highly impressive. It will be interesting to see where they take this idea.
Oh, and it almost goes without saying, but bring on the iM5 as well, please. Why the hell not?