BMW’s i brand is where risks are taken


BMW i-badged vehicles then are something of a pioneering force for the rest of the range, a place engineers can create products the market may not even have thought of yet, with technology we will soon come to demand across the board.

“If we have success in i brand, then we have to spread that success,” Irlinger said. “The iNext bringing all that innovation into one car is high risk in that there’s so much there. It has the newest level of powertrain, automated driving, connected services, communication as well. Normally if you combine all that technology, something happens. The amount of things new you do at once, raises the complexity.”

The big step for iNext won’t just be the way its power is generated, but also how you’ll be able to use it as the driver. iNext will have the latest version of Level 3 automation. Crucially too, it will explore denser battery packs, and therefore a more impressive real-world, electric driving range – the current bugbear for hesitant buyers.

“We will be able to have a real-world range of 500km within five years,” Irlinger said. Battery technology will change too, but in Irlinger’s mind, the batteries we understand now, will be with us for some time yet. “Definitely, classical lithium ion technology will continue up to 2025,” he said.

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