BMW Offers Glimpse of Vision iNext Electric Vehicle Concept

BMW makes big promises about its first full-size electric vehicle, including what could be best-in-class range.

On Tuesday, BMW released a new tease of its upcoming iNext electric vehicle.

The short video depicts a low, polygonal vehicle with a new take on BMW's signature "kidney grille," conjoined on the iNext and rimmed in blue light. The double-kidney motif is repeated in the side windows, as shown by a concept illustration dated May 2018.

BMW

According to information previously revealed about the angular, piggy-faced vehicle, the iNext will be a five-seater approximately the size of an X5 crossover, and likely a crossover itself. It will primarily be an electric vehicle, with batteries ranging from 60 to 120 kilowatt-hours in capacity, the latter offering up to 435 miles of range. Electric motor options will vary from 134 to 800 horsepower, though the vehicle's architecture will also permit integration of internal combustion engines.

BMW plans to integrate a series of automated driver assists into the iNext which will qualify it as SAE level three autonomy in 2021. Note, however, that automated driving assists don't mean that a vehicle is truly autonomous.

The iNext will not be BMW's first electric vehicle on the market. A Mini-branded EV is coming next year and the more approachable iX3 will arrive in 2020. With a 70 kWh battery granting 249 miles of range, BMW's electric crossover options compare favorably to its German competition, such as the Audi e-Tron and newly-revealed Mercedes-Benz EQC. Both competitors use larger battery packs to travel similar or fewer distances. Of these EV CUVs, the Audi will be the first to market, with U.S. deliveries anticipated to begin in early 2019. Mercedes and BMW will enter the brawl sometime in 2020.