BMW to roll out iNext EV as flagship model, rumored to be a self-driving crossover, by 2021

Article by Christian A., on May 10, 2017

When the German automaker powerhouse BMW revealed its Vision Next 100 Concept, the vehicle looked like it belonged to a sci-fi movie with its futuristic flexible skin-like body and radical interior. Now BMW has officially announced that it will send the futuristic automobile into production probably around 2021 in an effort to expand its i-sub trademark of electric vehicles. However, the production iNEXT will likely not look as cool and radical as the fundamental concept.

The BMW 7 series was considered the company's flagship unit for a long time, but all that will possibly change once the iNext will be released with an full electric powertrain. This futuristic vehicle from Bavaria will possibly be produced as a crossover if the rumours circulating are true. The German automaker disclosed that the iNext will be a "bigger vehicle", and BMWBLOG has it on good authority that it will be perhaps identical with regards to its shape and size as the Jaguar I-Pace that is anticipated to arrive probably this year.

The German automaker also further revealed that it will bring to play the self-driving tech that will enable the iNext to pass the Level 3 Autonomy requirements for it to be made worthy of its current position as BMW's range topper. Level 3 autonomy will allow the vehicle to drive itself in most situations, but will still need a human driver that will intervene if needed. But the iNEXT isn't the only one to boast a Level 3 autonomy, the bragging rights belong to the 2018 Audi A8 as it will be the first ever production vehicle to have a Level 3 autonomy. However, it won't be available from day one due to the laws and regulations need to be updated first before allowing it.

After a year, the German automaker indicated that they will release a new model that is capable of handling Level 4 Autonomy (High Automation). If ever you are curious if what this means, one feature of a Level 4 autonomy is that the vehicle will be able to handle an emergency crisis even if the person behind the wheel isn't responsive to the request to intervene. The awesomeness doesn't stop there, as the new model will supposedly be capable of accommodating the max Level 5 Autonomy (Full Automation), which translates to a self-driving car that is not needing an actual steering wheel. How awesome can the future get?

The official reveal has been slated already for 2021, the same year the EV will be produced in Dingolfing, Germany located near BMW's main headquarters in Munich. Incidentally, the Dingolfing plant is where the 5 and 7 Series are presently produced. BMW is on track to manufacture 100,000 electric vehicles this year. Moreover, the BMW Group will solidify its electrified line-up by revealing Mini's first ever production electric vehicle in 2019 and a zero-emissions X3 will soon follow suit.

Source: BMWBlog.com

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Topics: bmw, electric car, suv

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