BMW teases iNext tech flagship, says concept coming in 2018

BMW iX3 Concept 7

BMW teases iNext tech flagship, says concept coming in 2018

The iNext is created to be a technology showcase for BMW: electric propulsion, full self-driving, and advanced interfaces, said BMW CEO Harald Krueger.

Judging by the look, BMW iNEXT Concept looks like an evolutionary iteration of i3 rather than i Vision Concept or Vision Next 100 Concepts which were shown to us past year. Though, according to Krüger, we should see a Vision Concept of this upcoming fully-electric, fully-connected and highly autonomous BMW later this year.

Last year, BMW's head of sales and marketing, Ian Robertson, casted doubts on Tesla's ability to produce Model 3 in volume at $35,000 and in the process, he said that the iNext will be the real competitor in the same segment.

At today's Annual General Meeting of BMW AG, the group's Chairman of the Board of Harald Krüger, unveiled an initial design concept for the BMW iNEXT. The iNEXT will benefit the entire company and all its brands.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has recently sided with local auto makers on the subject of hardware upgrades, arguing that time and financial resources would be better spent on the development of the mobility technologies of the future.

Krueger also said the iNext will offer Level 3 self-driving capabilities, which will let the driver cede control to the vehicle under certain conditions as long as they stand ready (or at least sit ready) to retake control within seconds if any warnings sound. More models will follow the iNext that is due to enter showrooms in 2021, Krueger said. The i4 was originally introduced as the BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept, before being given the i4 name, but nobody knows how it looks like since the production vehicle hasn't been shown. And I can reveal that we will be presenting the iNEXT as a vision vehicle later this year. However, the vehicle in the sketch appears to take on more of an SUV shape. All it means is that BMW thinks it will be able to make a Tesla Model 3 competitor with 400 miles of range in 2021.

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