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As reported by AutoExpress, BMW will show an electric SUV concept later this year called the iNext. That vehicle, which will be roughly the same size and shape as a BMW X5, will preview a production version that will arrive in a few years with SAE Level 3 autonomous technology and a maximum electric driving range of 435 miles.
“I can promise you that this year you will see something and touch something – you need to let people experience what is coming,” BMW i product boss Alexander Kotouc told AE. “It’s groundbreaking; the iNEXT will be more of the shape and size of an X5. It will have a completely different interior and be able to seat five people.”
The iNext will ride on BMW’s new modular architecture, which will underpin a variety of future BMWs including fossil fuel cars, plug-ins and EVs. The platform will allow for a variety of battery pack sizes ranging from 60 kWh to 120 kWh. The platform also allows for an electric motor to be fitted on both axles, while a triple-motor setup could be on offer as well. The iNext will apparently be available in 134 hp, 255 hp, 335 hp and 443 hp versions. Additionally, the proposed triple-motor version could make up to 800 hp.
While the iNext will launch with Level 3 autonomy, which may requires the driver to take over the vehicle’s controls for certain tasks, it will be upgraded to Level 4 and Level 5 over the course of its lifecycle. It’s not clear when the Level 4 system may be implemented, but with the iNext not set to arrive for another three years, a full self-driving version is probably about 5-7 years out at the absolute least.
We’ll learn more about the iNext when BMW shows the concept later this year.