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Between the numbers 3 and 8 lie 4, 5, 6 and 7, which means that automaker BMW left itself some working room for future vehicles. The i3 is coming, so too is the i8, but what's up with the vehicles that slot in between?
BMW i3 in Swirls
According to Autocar, a BMW source says that the i3 and i8 serve as bookends for the automaker's i range.
Quoting Autocar's "inside source:"
"There are a lot of unused numbers in the i line-up...and there is the potential for other mid-sized concepts."
Problem is that it's hard to pick out vehicles to place into BMW's numerical system. For example, even numbers (i4, i6 or i8) for BMW are either used for limited production vehicle or for two-door coupes. Odd numbers (i3, i5 or i7) are for more mainstream, mass produced BMWs.
BMW Concept Active Tourer
The "source" says that BMW's Concept Active Tourer, a plug-in hybrid that will enter production, could join the i range. Logic says it would be called the i3, since it's a mainstream crossover based on the BMW 3 Series, but that number is already taken.
BMW i8 in Swirls
Then we have the BMW i3 Concept Coupe, which is supposedly production bound. On this one, logic says it should be called the BMW i2, due to its two-door bodystyle. But will it be the i2? Or will BMW call it the i3 Coupe?
Here's something else to consider: If the i3 is actually a bookend, then BMW won't go below the number 3 in its i range, but we'd bet an i1 or i2 is a possibility. At the upper end, we guarantee the i8 to be a bookend. There won't be an i9. Trust us.
So, back to these perplexing "mid-sized concepts." We'll go out on a limb and say that BMW will be forced to break from its numbering tradition to make this work. The Concept Active Tourer could become the i5. i4 and i6 will be reserved for toned-down versions of vehicles somewhat similar to the radical i8. That leaves us with i7, which we haven't a clue what it'll be.