BMW Promises “Very Exciting Surprise” For Frankfurt, Possibly An All-Electric 3 Series

2 months ago by Adrian Padeanu 26

BMW i8 Roadster

There are a number of possibilities in regards to what it may be and they all involve an alternative powertrain.

Speaking at a conference call about the interim report, BMW’s chairman Harald Krüger announced “a very exciting surprise” will be unveiled at the forthcoming Frankfurt Motor Show scheduled to take place next month. He did not go into any details, but the announcement was made following statements concerning the company’s green push, so chances are the car in question will not have a conventional powertrain, but a plug.

BMW's Future EV Plans

BMW’s Future EV Plans, including i8 Roadster, X3 BEV, iNext, and more.

So, what could it be? Well, there are a few plausible scenarios. Firstly, the i8 Roadster has been a long time coming and BMW has already teased the droptop plug-in hybrid sports car. Seeing it at the 2017 IAA in Germany won’t be that much of a surprise though considering it is a known fact the i8 will lose its roof, as hinted by a couple of concepts introduced in recent years.

The rumor mill indicates BMW will unveil the X7 concept with a fuel cell setup developed in collaboration with Toyota. This could very well be the vehicle Harald Krüger was talking about since the first-ever X7 will be out in 2019 and it will likely be previewed by a concept as it has been the case with the X2, also a first for the brand.

The very same rumor mill points out a fully electric 3 Series is en route to Frankfurt. Considering the current version of BMW’s best-selling model is approaching the end of its life cycle, chances are the report is talking about a concept rather than a production model. The showcar could serve as a preview for the next-gen 3 Series and its EV member to take on the recently launched Tesla Model 3.

Harald Krüger was also happy to report people have already lined up to buy the i8 Roadster as the company is taking pre-orders ahead of the model’s 2018 launch. He also spoke briefly about the zero-emission X3 due in 2020, predicting it will turn out to be a “hit with many customers.”

During the same conference call, BMW’s chairman reiterated the plans to launch a three-door electric Mini in 2019. In addition, approximately 40 new and updated models will be introduced between now and the end of 2018. That will include the reborn 8 Series and its M counterpart to make up for lost time as the original model was on the verge of getting an M8 version, but it never did.

Source: BMW

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26 responses to "BMW Promises “Very Exciting Surprise” For Frankfurt, Possibly An All-Electric 3 Series"

  1. L'amata says:

    I Can’t Take it! …L M A O… Stop the Suspense !.Let Me Guess.,It’s another Band Aid affect , Re-hashed, Half Baked Left over, Revised & so on of the same 0Ld same 0LD…

  2. Seth says:

    Don’t get your hopes up, most likely just another PHEV variant. Their concept of “Very Exciting” is not the same as our concept of “Very Exciting”.

    The problem is that quite a few of the CEO’s talk like a marketing departement for one reason or another. Neither really helps. So when Nissan had an exciting announcement we got a blade glider which useless for absolutely everyone, ever.

    So if it’s a concept, and somewhere more then 1 year into the future it’s not very exciting for prospect buyers except maybe share holders.

    1. fasteddie2020 says:

      Not much here: BMW simply cannot afford to let Audi get ahead of them in Electrification press releases!

      Tesla has been sucking all of the oxygen out of the room with their Model 3, so The Great 2017 Electrification Press Release Battle is at full strength!

    2. speculawyer says:

      Oh please….not ANOTHER PHEV with 9KWH of batteries such that it can only go 12 miles before switching to ICE.

      Why bother spending all that engineering on the PHEV system only to cripple it with a tiny battery?

  3. leafowner says:

    Electric 3 series with 101 miles of range, no trunk (full of batteries) and a price of $52,000…..

    1. William says:

      Were can I put down my $1000.00 deposit, and PreOdor this V.E. BMW, as it is the next latest and greatest!

      1. fasteddie2020 says:

        No. NO! This is too exciting to miss! Let me squeeze in ahead of you, please. Here’s my $101K check

    2. Viking79 says:

      Presumably they would have designed new 3er as a flexible architecture for BEV, PHEV, or hybrid, so no, the trunk wouldn’t be full of batteries.

      1. tftf says:

        Yes, they have. “CLAR” in BMW lingo…

        http://www.bmwblog.com/2017/06/14/video-2019-bmw-3-series-spotted-testing-nurburgring/

        BEV version not a problem.

        Testing for months already (see link), the ICE car is due in late 2018.

        1. tftf says:

          BEV rumors have been around since 2016:

          “The CLAR platform is claimed to have been engineered with electrification in mind, and BMW’s engineers are said to be working on the installation of a 90kWh battery pack, potentially giving the 3 Series EV – which is likely to carry the badge eDrive Sport – a range of around 300 miles.”

          http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/bmw/3-series/94014/2018-bmw-3-series-spied-testing-again

          Again, all just rumors. 90 kWh sounds quite large, maybe that’s the high-end option.

          Since Samsung provides BMW with the new 120Ah cells by late 2018 / 2019, this rumor would make sense from a technical standpoint (same for another i3 range update and the new Mini EV).

          1. alohart says:

            The battery pack capacities that EV manufacturers can offer are limited by the fact that the pack voltages must be about the same for all capacities. 96 cells in series is the common configuration for large format cells (used by everyone except Tesla), so the next larger capacity would have 2 96-cells strings connected in parallel. So a battery pack with 1 96-cell string of 120 Ah cells would have a gross capacity of ~43 kWh. Two 96-cell strings would have a gross capacity of 86 kWh, so that’s my guess for the capacity of a 3-series BEV battery pack.

            One advantage of using thousands of small cells like Tesla does is that many 96-cell strings can be connected in parallel to create battery packs of many different capacities.

            1. seth says:

              Not really, cells are in parallel first, then series. This has to do with arithmetic and statistics, mostly just the latter, because it’s more reliable.

              Tesla uses 30~45 parallel and 96 in series, Leaf uses 3 parallel and 96 in series.

  4. MTN Ranger says:

    Next gen 3 series is supposed to arrive in 2019. I’m betting the EV version is 2020-2021.

  5. VonDiesel says:

    The surprise will be a twin-turbo, down sized diesel engine with significantly reduced emissions, that will excite all customers that care for Earth… 🙂

    1. stimpy says:

      It looks like the only thing German customers are excited about when it comes to diesels, is how fast they can get rid of theirs as it’s resale value drops like a rock:

      http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1112360_used-diesel-demand-drops-in-germany-over-fear-of-software-upgrades

  6. Chris O says:

    Bit early for an EV version of a yet to be revealed new platform, so probably not an electric 3 Series. Maybe it is that hydrogen vehicle but unfortunately for BMW those only excite the trolls;)

  7. pjwood1 says:

    If BMW introduced a car with a compelling electric-mode (~15-25KWh) close to a normal sized engine & tank, in a normal body, it would be a big leap.

    Since they aren’t likely to afford this for their customer, and no all-battery announcement will make sense without an infrastructure plan, Frankfurt might not matter.

  8. speculawyer says:

    They had better do SOMETHING. Tesla is drinking their milkshake and even German politicians are mocking them for not having good EVs.
    https://cleantechnica.com/2017/08/26/angela-merkels-chief-staff-slams-german-automakers-behind-tesla/

  9. Michael Will says:

    Fuel cell in another desperate attempt to derail the future. BMW is doomed.

    1. speculawyer says:

      I think BMW figured out that fuel cells are a boondoggle. That’s why they lead Germany’s plug-in car line-up.

      (OK, their plug-in line-up is still pretty weak but it is better than Mercedes, VW, Audi, Smart, etc.)

  10. Bacardi says:

    i3 Rex will run on Diesel…Boom!

  11. Courtney vegan says:

    I was going to slam BMW for dropping the ball on good range. But then I keep hearing that leaf2.0 might not reach 200 miles. So I will give BMW a pass until the leaf drops.

  12. Lou Grinzo says:

    As best I can tell, the car companies making these increasingly frustrating greenwashing announcements are secretly in a competition to see which one can FREAKING KILL ME via press release.

    So far, they’re getting close.

  13. evnow says:

    Considering Model 3 is starting to be sold – it makes perfect sense for BMW to unveil a conceptual 3 BEV. They have absolutely nothing to lose, may even prevent a few die-hard BMW fans from switching to Tesla. More importantly it is sort of a face saver for the BMW execs.

    1. speculawyer says:

      In other words….we got a FUD announcement on the way.

  14. Just_Chris says:

    It’d be pretty cool if they release an X1 and 3 series based on the i3 type of concept. They’d need more power and a better rex but I think that a 3 series with 33 kWh battery and a rex would compete very well against a model 3 if they were price similarly. I also think it is about time that the Outlander had some decent competition, an X1 with a i3 type drive train would do nicely – again if priced in the same ball park as the Outlander.

    My biggest fear is that it will be something exciting in 5 years time – which will only be exciting in 5 years time.

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