BMW as recently as 2016 has stated it’s considering a family-oriented model for its i division, positioned between the current i3 and i8.
However, the latest info from the BMW Blog suggests the car, rumored to be called an i5, has been canceled.
The usually accurate BMW enthusiast site says several sources have revealed that BMW is focused on electrifying models from its core lineup rather than introducing new standalone electric cars and hybrids. BMW CEO Harald Krüger actually alluded to this during a March press conference outlining the company’s financials.
“We will incorporate all-electric, battery-powered mobility into our core brands, as we have already done successfully with our plug-in hybrid vehicles,” he said. “By using highly flexible architectures we can avoid duplicate investments in plant and equipment and will be able to adapt our range of electric and conventional vehicles to changing demand both quickly and efficiently.”
This change in tack can already be seen in BMW’s confirmation of an electric version of the next-generation X3, due in 2020, plus an electric Mini due in 2019 (most likely the Hardtop). A new 4-Series Gran Turismo to replace the current 3-Series GT is also expected to offer an electric option.
BMW in 2016 also confirmed that it is changing the focus of the i division to self-driving and connected car technologies and that the next i model would be a self-driving car due in 2021. Code-named the iNext, this self-driving car is thought to be a technological flagship for the BMW brand.