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BMW outs battery-electric Vision iNext in teasers

Charging ahead: The Vision iNext’s radical design is punctuated by the latest interpretation of BMW’s double-kidney front grille, which is outlined by blue LED lighting.

Vision iNext likely set for October reveal as self-driving BMW SUV draws closer

6 Sep 2018

IN THE same week that Mercedes-Benz revealed the EQC and Audi started production of the e-tron, BMW has provided the best look yet at its second battery-electric SUV, the self-driving iNext due in 2021.
Two videos and an image released on social media depict the iNext in Vision concept form, with its radical design punctuated by the latest interpretation of BMW’s double-kidney front grille.
Taller and narrower than before, the signature element forms one whole part, as opposed to its usual separate set-up, and is outlined by blue LED lighting that also features on the left side of the rear bumper – perhaps as a tribute to the iNext’s lack of a traditional exhaust system.
While the front end also features the Bavarian brand’s trademark Angel Eyes headlights, they are in slimline guise with LED bulbs, sitting just above the double-kidney grille and flanking the pinched bonnet.
This slimline theme carries over to the strip-like LED tail-lights that are, similar to all current BMW models, L-shaped. Additionally, prominent vertical air intakes are integrated into the front and rear bumpers.
While the latest teaser campaign does not offer a detailed look at the iNext’s coupe-style side profile or interior, a sketch released in May suggested that its glasshouse mimics the shape of the double-kidney front grille.
The Vision iNext is likely to make its international debut later this year, possibly as soon as the Paris motor show in October, while the production model will be revealed closer to its 2021 launch.
However, the iNext will be beaten to market by the iX3 mid-size SUV, which will take on the EQC and e-tron from 2020, while Jaguar’s I-Pace and Tesla’s Model X also wait in the wings.
While the iX3 will be manufactured in China as part of BMW’s joint venture with Brilliance Auto, the iNext will be built at the former’s factory in Dingolfing, Germany.
As previously reported, when the iNext goes on sale, it will become the flagship model in the BMW i line-up, joining the i3 hatchback and i8 sportscar as well as the incoming i4 liftback.
The iNext will draw its power from BMW’s fifth-generation battery technology, which will provide an increased driving range of about 700 kilometres, according to BMW chairman of the board of management Harald Krueger.
Furthermore, a modular platform will underpin the iNext, which will likely be shared with the fourth-generation X5 that is expected to be similar in size.
Level 3 autonomous technologies will ensure that the iNext is capable of driving itself in highway conditions, although driver intervention will still be required in certain scenarios.
By 2025, it is expected that BMW Group will have 25 electrified models in its product line-up, including 12 battery-electric vehicles.

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