Over the next four years, we should see no less than 12 fully electric and 13 plug-in hybrid models coming from the folks at BMW and a new report indicates this will include an entry-level electric car based on the 1 Series.
The first battery-electric cars to arrive will be the iX3 SUV, followed by the i4, and the iNext SUV, which will act as a technological flagship of the brand. Auto Express says BMW execs have confirmed an all-electric hatchback is in the production plans for a launch sometime in 2021. It is expected to be almost identical to the conventional ICE-powered 1 Series models in terms of design with the only difference being the obvious lack of a radiator grille.
“Even in the front-drive architecture you will see fully electrified cars,” Robert Irlinger, boss of BMW’s i division, told the publication. “You will see electrification in our whole portfolio. We can rework our front-wheel-drive as well as the rear-wheel-drive platforms and both are able to show all technologies – our customers have the power of choice. Whatever they demand they can get – a plug-in hybrid X3, a fully-electric 4 Series, too. That’s a big step and a big change in our strategy.”
The publication seems to think the electric 1 Series could receive the i1 moniker when it is launched on the market, following BMW’s convention of giving its electric cars the i suffix.