New Models

2021 BMW iNext testing begins

BMW is putting its all-electric, heavily-automated showpiece through its paces, as it gets ready to unveil it... in two years time, naturally.
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BMW has teased its upcoming pure-electric, autonomous crossover, the iNext, as it gears up to being production in 2021.

That's right, 2021. The plug-in technology showcase was teased by a distinctive concept last year, with a suitably eye-catching exterior and a cabin inspired by a "modern, high-end living space".

The driver is faced with a widescreen infotainment display capable of responding to natural voice commands, and an interactive head-up display, while the steering wheel and pedals can extend/retract based on the car's drive mode.

Comparing the iNext pictured here to the concept, there are a few interesting changes already apparent. For one, the suicide doors are gone, replaced with conventionally-hinged units, while the show car's 24-inch wheels appear to have been scaled down for production.

It also has a B-pillar. Frameless doors are cool, but they're tough to justify on a production SUV.

At the moment, BMW is using the frigid conditions of Arjeplog, Sweden, to fine-tune battery, motor, and climate control performance in extreme cold.

The company is putting the stability control system through its paces at the moment, trying to trigger it on a closed, slick surface. Engineers are also working to fine-tune the mechanical braking and regenerative braking systems, a challenge unique to electrified vehicles.

Production of the iNext will start during 2021 at BMW's plant in Dingolfing.