BMW Says i3, i8 Might Be Just One Generation & Done

APR 2 2018 BY ANTHONY KARR 18

A final decision is yet to be taken.

Last month, BMW confirmed officially a third member of the i family of electric vehicles will be launched in the foreseeable future. In fact, the i4, scheduled to arrive sometime in 2020, could remain the only offering in the EV range of the Bavarians until the iNext arrives, as a new report is indicating the i3 and i8 may be discontinued after their current generations.

Related – BMW iX3 Debut Rumored for Next Month

In an interview during the New York Auto Show last week, Stefan Juraschek, head of electric powertrain at BMW, told Automotive News there’s no final decision regarding the two models yet and they are still an open discussion.

“These cars are very unique,” he told the online publication. “These two cars were not [developed] as a family that we can expand in different [ways] or maybe five or 10 derivatives.”

Next BMW i – BMW i4 Electric – Rang *340 to 435 Miles

BMW i8 Coupé at the 2018 NAIAS

What Juraschek is basically saying is that the i3 and i8 were technology showcases and not just regular models, so they don’t have to necessarily follow the traditional trends in the automotive industry. His words are echoing i boss Robert Irlinger’s statement from earlier this year, when in an interview to Autocar he said BMW is currently “still deciding” about the two vehicles.

However, the i8 and i3 won’t go away anytime soon. The city car was refreshed last year, while the sports coupe is set to receive a facelift later this year. It will likely bring a new performance version, dubbed the i8 S, with up to 450 horsepower (335 kilowatts) under the hood. Don’t expect to see a larger gasoline engine under the hood, as the current hybrid powertrain could be tweaked to deliver more power.

As for the i3, “there won’t always be an i3, then an i3 after – it is not a parallel universe of BMW,” BMW i design boss Domagoj Dukec commented earlier this year. Simply said, just like the i8, the compact electric car is not necessarily getting a direct replacement once it goes out of production.

Keep the conversation going in our InsideEVs Forum covering electric cars and green technology. Start a new thread about this article and make your point.

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BMW i8 Roadster at the 2018 NAIAS
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Source: Automotive News

Categories: BMW

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18 Comments on "BMW Says i3, i8 Might Be Just One Generation & Done"

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Hmm, many of us i3 owners were not core BMW enthusiasts before this car and were drawn to the brand by the i3. I would have happily renewed my lease next year, but now Im not sure if I’ll stick around for an iX3 or shop the new Buick EV after my lease. Not a good direction to go in, BMW.

Agreed. Most of us are NEW to BMW, because of the i3.
All they need to do is continue the innovation in the vehicle it will catch on. What’s holding off mass adoption is probably range, but also, a track record of high quality and reliability. And the i3 brand continues to improve every year, so at some point they should be able to increase production.

Because it is a perfect city/suburb/country car, and a pleasure to drive.

But, they also have to compete Kea, which has surprising electric motor efficiency.

And the i3s / Sport really answers and improves the handling of the vehicle. This is not the time to abandon this car. The car is substantially better than 90% of the EV’s and ICE cars on the road. And the REX solution is GENIUS. This isn’t the time to abandon the vehicle.
It’s time to design a TRUE Gen 2.0.

To claim that the car is 90% better than something else, is highly subjective statement, and you know that. Especially, if start talking about value (and especially outside of US where no crazy lease deals are available).

Considering the above and the fact that the there’s not that many of you (it really is not a high number in larger scope of things) who prefer this perhaps fun, yet quirky look/format) it’s not very surprising that they are considering pulling a pin on the model.

After all, we know that BMW likes their profits more than anything else, just like most car companies. There’s no way they are making any money when all is said and done (especially in US with those huge BMW/electric companies incentives).

Imagine, how much more they could sell/make if they finally put out the Mini-E … just look at how many Mini’s they have sold, mostly to younger demographics. But BMW has been taking their sweet loooong time ….

There’s an interesting internet video, their Bill of Materials is actually quite low for the i3. So, they probably are, especially at this point making a profit on the i3.

Given, the interior quality, the sophisticated suspension, the good ride, and the inherit advantages of EV’s: Smoothness: Beating all gas engine vehicles, Torque beating most gas engine and many of the EV’s, Visibility, fun to drive. It clearly is better than 90% of the vehicles on the road. I give zero points for looks either way.

If you go steel body, you’re going to have to make it up with more batteries and a more powerful motor, giving up some efficiency too.

Because the CFRP-body-on-aluminium-frame design of the i3 is not that much lighter than a comparably-sized steel unibody design, and the effect of mass increase/decrease is relatively small in an EV (because of higher powertrain efficiency and regenerative braking), any loss of operational efficiency would be more than compensated for in production energy (and therefore cost) savings.

For my $0.02 worth, the three issues that bothered enough not to buy an i3 were (1) range, (2) price and (3) tall, narrow tires that I think are never going to be readily available from more than one or two manufacturers {read that as always being very expensive}.

IMHO, the i3 I drove was a very, very nice driving car, well worthy of the BMW Roundel on it. That just wasn’t enough to convince me to buy it.

The tall tires are not the norm for most cars. But, like Tesla which much larger wheels and tires than normal, there are advantages.

These tall wheel/tire combination allow the vehicle to roll over bumps and potholes far more smoothly and successfully than most cars, along with lower aero and road drag. And that’s their advantage.
BMW designed this car with a clean sheet.
If there’s a difference in design from a standard car, there’s a good reason for that difference, in my opinion.

Those tires are going to be the kiss of death to used i3’s a decade from now if they kill the i3 now. Especially the new i3s tires, which are yet another different size.

The crazy thing is that lots of i3’s came with staggered wheels, with different sizes front and back. So if you need a new set of tires you need two different oddball sizes to both be in stock at the same time.

Most i3 buyers were/are new to the BMW brand. I liked my i3 but the reliability was not there, especially for an “established” brand.

If you follow the i3 Facebook group, you would see that BMW has tracked i3 issues very seriously and have issued recalls and factory updates on a regular basis for this car. I’m driving a 2017 with no issues, finger’s crossed, that continues.

Few would call any BMW “reliable”…

I have a 2014 BMW I3 Rex and I love it. It’s my first BMW. I like the looks of it, but I know I have unusual taste. What was very surprising to me was how many people I met who liked the car. The first person to comment on how much they liked the car, was a woman who stopped in the rain to tell me she liked the car. I was very confused because I didn’t expect that. She was pointing to the car and at first I thought she was trying to tell me there was something wrong. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the car some people curious and some people just admires the car. One of the first questions people always ask is, “what’s the electric range on a full charge.” BMW has to do a better job of improving the electric range ( over 200 miles on a full charge) and this car will have better sale numbers.

I love the i3 and it is the car that got me interested in EVs after test driving one. I ended up with a 3 year old Volt after the drive though, as it was too expensive.

I think the i3 is a perfectly marketable vehicle, but maybe overshot on price. If they could make it starting at $30k it would get more buyers.

Range is plenty for what it is, I like that it is light weight and nimble. Having more generally appealing styling might help too.

Viking gets it,
I3 and especially I3 Rex are great cars that are about $15,000-$20,000 to expensive compared to the competition like the excellent Chevy Volt.

People are willing to pay some premium for the BMW brand but with the Volt at essentially 1/2 the price of the I3 Rex it makes it a lot less likely here in the US.

Now in Europe without the Volt/Ampera as competition–the I3 sales do much better.

Exactly, the issue is the MSRP needs a loooot of help. Imagine, there would be no great lease or purchase deals, like US has …. look at how many i3’s have they sold in Canada.

If you are enthusiast who champions the shape and size of the car, then it doesn’t matter to you, since you do want to be different, and that’s all fine, but that is not going to give BMW the sell numbers they have come to expect of this car.

The styling of the i3 isn’t for me but I admire the engineering that went into the car. Hopefully the CFRP construction at least will carry over to future models.

i3 reliability is an issue not due to the frequency of repairs, but the cost when out of warranty. BMW sees themselves as a premium brand and they make sure you know it at the parts counter.

I seriously considered a used 2015, but held off due to the unknown out-of-warranty costs. That and the lack of three seat belts in the back seat. Even an “emergency only” similar to the gen 2 Volt would have tipped me in their favor.

Gah. I hit post too soon.

I like the i3 styling. I do not like the current sedan or SUV styling. I do not know if I would buy a five seat series 1 PHEV. Even if the underpinnings were exactly the same as the i3 Rex.