BMW Confirms Next-Generation i3 Is Coming, Won’t Say When


BMW’s i3 project manager, Heinrich Schwackhoefer, has confirmed what we all believed to be truth…a next-generation i3 is on the way.

Inside the 2017 BMW i3

Inside the 2017 BMW i3

Though Schwackhoefer was willing to confirm this, he wasn’t able to discuss the car’s timeline.

Our belief is that the next-gen i3 will launch around 2018/2019, but that’s just speculation for now.

Quoting Schwackhoefer, who was asked if an i3 replacement was in the works:

“I firmly expect that. It’s not the sentiment within the company that it’s been a failure — absolutely not at all.”

This past July, BMW launched a longer range version of the i3, but that’s just an improved first-gen model. The next-gen i3 is still a ways off and will likely have more than 200 miles of range.

Schwackhoefer added:

“The “i’ subbrand is stable and you can count on a successor to the i3, but I cannot say when that will be.”

Source: Automotive News

Categories: BMW


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39 Comments on "BMW Confirms Next-Generation i3 Is Coming, Won’t Say When"

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I enjoyed my i3 but BMW will really need to step it up if they want to stay competitive in the BEV market.

+1 jelloslug

Of course. Technology and affordability of EVs is getting better, and most automakers are doing something with that.

Somehow I am wondering if the i5 render we saw might actually be the new i3, strange as it sounds.

The dimensions of the current i3 and the existing BMW models seem off. Could well be bringing them inline.

Ofcourse it is not impossible that the i line will co-exist beside the existing BMW line as a premium carbon fiber high tech low volume model line.

It’s pretty amazing that a second gen i3 may arrive before the next Leaf. Come on Nissan!

That’s crazy. I see Nissan ending up just like Honda was with Hybrids: first real successful vehicle, but with no follow up, lose the market lead.

So, no news front Nissan at the LA autoshow?

Carlos Ghosn will be delivering the keynote address at CES on January 5th. My guess, the Leaf 2 will be announced then.

Why should Nissan announce a new Leaf? Their current one is still selling strong, globally at least. If they ANNOUNCE a new one, sales will drop.

So better keep it a secret, just look what happened when GM announced the new Volt a year before it went into production.


Also, I recall that Nissan was good by to have an anoncment at the CES is Las Vegas.


Think like a CEO, not an enthusiast.

Used 2014 i3 are listing for about $20K while used Leaf are listing around $9K. If they have even longer range i3 soon, used i3 could dip into SparkEV territory of $11K!

The i3’s carbon fiber body is a good Idea it’s Light and it doesn’t Rust. The only problem is safety and that it’s too expensive to repair and Insure ,also Carbon fiber easily damages even in minor collisions ,the car easily becomes a write off. The other draw back though is that there’s not enough car (too small)and too little range. This car is very expensive for what it is . You really don’t get much for your money. A VERY EXPENSIVE SHORT RANGE CITY CAR…

Carbon Fibre also has a pretty horrible life cycle CO2 emissions profile.

And it’s apparently not as light as you might think. If you look at the “life module”, you can see that it is built essentially like a steel or aluminium car: an assembly of many different parts. While it may be fewer parts than a steel or aluminium car, it is not the construction method that will maximize the properties of carbon fibre. Some mass efficiency must certainly also be lost in the body-on-frame design necessitated by the use of CF.

Interesting to hear him even mention the idea that people in the company might see it as a failure:

BMW i3 is one of the greenest ev’s available with multiple sustainability awards, high content of natural fiber reinforced materials, full lifecycle analyses and innovation in the production techique of Carbon fibers. In term of safety CF is good as they can absorb loads of impact energy.

I agree with you RussB You Nailed it ! Even BMW Insiders Called it a failure. Thx for your input it Confirms some things that I was not aware of …

BTW:Awards are just “Smoke & Mirrors” in most if not all Cases .They mean Very little to Nothing because they are usually Purchased.

Since the next evolution of Samsung SDI pack are due in 2019, place your bet on 2019 as a 2020 model. That pack will have double energy density of the 2013 version.

Who wants to bet that the car will be bigger? It seems every generation of a new vehicle is always larger than the last. How many times have we seen where they make a small car, everyone complains it is too small, so they make it larger. And then larger again in the next generation. Until eventually it no longer resembles the original idea behind the car. Makes you wonder why they ever build small cars to begin with.

Well, that is very true. The manufacturers just make a new smaller line and put that in the low end of the lineup. For example, the Honda CRV has gotten so big, the smaller HRV had to be created.

Well, the i3 is still getting rave reviews in the comparison tests. here are some very recent tests. One from August, and then the very latest one (November 2016) is a very informative piece from AutoCar pitting the i3 against the new Ioniq, LEAF, and then the E-Golf. Just look at NEDC range ratings, and the actual tests results, and you will see what I mean by BMW used very conservative EPA range ratings:

And the August review on the Telegraph.

+1 Agreed! The i3 is rated VERY conservatively. I constantly get more range (after 20 min Fast Charging) than indicated in my slightly used $27K fully loaded with Rex range extender Silver Bullet. Why buy new when there are many great deals on lease returns – mine was optioned at $54K new – purchased for half price!

Will be buying another for the better half!

Cut it any way you wish 238 per Full Charge @ half the price makes way more sense & Dollars to most!

238 miles is a game changer. The Bolt will really move EVs a giant step further with this vehicle if they handle it correctly (all 50 states, dealer support, proper marketing, etc). However it’s just not close to correct that it’s half the price of an i3. The i3 BEV starts at $42,400 and the Bolt Premier (comparable in features as the i3) starts at $40,905. The Bolt is a better veer proposition, that’s not even arguable, but lets keep the information here as accurate as possible.

The lease rates will likely be very close in comparison also, since BMW has been putting “cash on the hood” to keep i3 sales respectable. GM won’t likely do that for at least the first year since the Bolt will be in demand, and they are doing a slow rollout.

Its been covered recently in T.E.N. monthly lease will be 309$ with no down payment, will be available on the current 10 (if I remember well) states, starting with california, oregon, new York.
Chevy asks dealers to install CCS rapids as there are nearly 0 Support from dealerships towards ev’s

Cut it any way you wish 238 miles per Full Charge @ half the price a safer car & makes way more sense & Dollars to most! (I’m referring to both Especially the model-3 & Bolt)

Cut it any way you want, every time I sit in a Chevy Bolt, I can’t get over the cheap plastic rental car interior. I will be fine with a 120 milet range car that at least feels special inside. And with the rex, the i3 can conceivably be more practical than a long time to charge Bolt.

Just read the reviewers words on what makes the i3 special, and you will understand.

I agree the Bolt interior is cheap….even a notch below the Volt. However, I haven’t sat in one with leather yet which always improves things for me…still, I expect it will be a “cheap interior…with leather”. I also agree that the i3 rex is actually a BETTER longer range proposition than the Bolt.

Having said that, the i3 has a few other shortcomings that always knock it off my list. The suicide doors are cool to look at when showing them off to your friends and then basically stink every other minute. At best, owners appear to “tolerate” them – it’s easy to predict the first generation i3 will be the only generation with these doors. Beyond that, the ride is too rough (and not “BMW’s are sporty” but flat out rough with lots of low speed head bobble) and freeway handling is darty. Some are reporting that the ride is better with the new larger battery, but the autocar article noted it was a bit “brittle-riding” too….MAYBE the one with the rex woudl be better, but still.

If you think the Bolt interior is Cheap ,you haven’t seen an i3 interior is looks pitiful …it’s rough unfinished, Dirty & real Cheap looking, you can see the fibers in the card board,that look like Hair all over the place.. It Looks More Primitive Than anything I’ve ever seen .

Maybe you should do some more research before trying to condemn something that you don’t have any information about. The BMW i3 is 95% recyclable and the components it’s made of are sustainable, I have 2, a 2015 Rex Mega and a 2016 Rex Tera, great cars!

“95% recyclable” is greenwashing – while it is technically true that you can recycle CFRP, no one has yet come up with a practical way to do so on an industrial scale. The ELV Directive, to which I assume you are referring, requires only that the manufacturer present a plan by which the material could be recycled; it does not have to prove that the recycling will actually happen.

CFRP takes something like twice as much energy as aluminium and 10+ times as much energy as steel to produce. Because of the inherent efficiency of the BEV (every MJ of motor output you save due to reduced mass has less waste attached to it than in an ICEV) and things like regenerative braking (which recovers some of the energy required to overcome the inertia of the vehicle’s mass) it is unlikely that you will recover all of that extra energy during the vehicle’s lifetime.

Since energy is analogous to CO2 emissions, it is obvious that the i3, while it may be better than an ICEV running on conventional fuel, is not very “green” compared to other BEVs.

jimijonjack doesn’t research. Just look at the comment he made. Do you think he even thought about it for 5 seconds? Don’t bother with him. 🙂

I prefer the Bolt or a Tesla as a car, but I would love if either car had an i3 interior. I think it is really cool and one of the car’s best features.

The door and dash material is actually a special plant based sustainable material. The car has purposeful construction. Watch the Munroe and Associates Youtube video. They dissect cars for a living. Said the i3 was the most advanced revolutionary car they have seen.

Just look at the i3 interior picture above and compare it to the Volt pic. Compare the design details of the center console, arm rest, dash, seats, etc. The i3 looks innovative and refreshing to be inside. The Bolt feels hard plastic cheap inside. No comparison.

I was about to buy one, but I freeze this intention when I saw others launching EV With much more capacity

BMW make a so so ICE car..But there is a lot of Hype & status Symbols Attached .I’ve owned a few Bimmers & They are not what they’re Cracked up to be ..But in all fairness you can say that about any & most all Car once you’ve experienced them.

In other words, they are boiling with water, just like every other manufacturer out there. It’s just that the water costs twice at BMW.

I feel like a minor range increase to 150 miles would be enough for a lot of people. I could easily make do with the newest 100+ mile range version of the i3.

My only real issue with the i3 are the doors. I hope on the refresh they make it a real 4 door vehicle.

Agreed, if you are carrying mostly passengers but if you use the vehicle mostly for driver and one passenger with stuff in the back then the coach doors are WAY faster at accessing things.

The idea of running around to open the back doors to grab something out is more time consuming that the coach design.

That’s one thing that I and 100,000 people + so far like about the i3 among other features!!!

Fair enough. 🙂 I can see that. I do have people in the back frequently so I think it would be a problem for me.

The upcoming i5 will probably be more in line with what I need. I’m looking forward to that eventual announcement. 🙂