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BMW i3 and i8 may not be renewed for second generation

- Apr 10, 2018 -

BMW could kill its i3 and i8 electric cars after just one generation, according to new reports out of Europe.

Speaking with industry journal Automotive News Europe, Stefan Jurascheck, head of electric powertrains for BMW AG, described the oddball pair as “unique”.

“These two were not [developed] as a family that we can expand in different [ways], or maybe five or 10 derivatives,” Jurascheck said.

Don’t expect the models to disappear any time soon, though. The i3has recently been updated with a 94Ah battery, not to mention the sporty i3s variant, while there’s refreshed i8 and i8 Roadstercoming later this year.

BMW outlined the battery-powered direction it plans on taking in December last year. Speaking to media at a special event in Munich, Dr Ian Robertson, member of the BMW board of management, said the “trend toward e-mobility is irreversible” at this point.

Starting with the iNext, the X3 and Mini EV, each BMW will be built to handle internal-combustion engines and electric powertrains. Batteries will be located between the axles, and both internal-combustion and electric vehicles will roll down the same production line.

A range of motor units, running from 100kW to 300+kW in output, will be offered across the entry-level, luxury and performance spectrum.

As for the batteries, capacities will run from 60kWh to 120kWh.

Why won’t the i3 and i8 benefit from that strategy, and run into a mass-produced second generation?

For starters, they’ve always been pitched as a way to show what’s possible when intelligent materials, modern powertrains and a dash of Germanic design flair (seriously) are combined.

Maybe that isn’t transferrable into a second generation.


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