At a press conference today, Harald Krueger, the CEO of BMW, laid out the broad brushstrokes of its near-term plan, dubbed “Strategy Number One > Next”, including details on a few new models.
Before 2016 is up, BMW will unveil an upgraded version of its i3 hatch with “increased battery capacity and additional range”. At present, the pure EV version of the i3 has a 22kWh battery pack that’s good for a driving range of between 130 and 160 kilometres.
Earlier this year, a senior BMW board member indicated that the revised hatch will be capable of around 200km in regular driving.
The company will also give the i8 coupe a roadster sibling, although no time frame has been publicly stated for its launch. The i8 Spyder concept was revealed back in 2012, and was updated for this year’s CES as the i Vision Future Interaction.
Due “in the coming years”, a plug-in hybrid model will be added to the Mini line-up. It’s not known whether the PHEV will be offered across a broad range of the brand’s body styles or restricted to just one.
Above: BMW i Vision Future Interaction concept
The Bavarian company made no mention today of an SUV for the i sub-brand. Rumours have persisted in the industry that the company is close to approving a crossover, potentially badged as the i5, which will take on the Audi Q6 e-tron and Tesla Model X.
BMW says that its next generation of i cars will feature automated driving, cloud technology and artificial intelligence, as well as high definition maps courtesy of Here Maps, which it purchased in conjunction with rivals Audi and Daimler.
In addition to bolstering its plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle range, BMW also has plans to introduce a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the technology for which is currently being co-developed with Toyota. According to BMW, its current crop of fuel cell prototypes have a driving range of up to 700 kilometres.