It appears as though we'll be waiting until at least 2020 for the next unique BMW i model.
According to BMW Group research and development chief, Klaus Froehlich, the automaker is still in the brainstorming phase for its next i model.
“We are still in the strategic research phase where we brainstorm. Teams that start with a white sheet of paper. They talk with customers, hold workshops, then present their ideas and we decide.”
All i models are and will be ground-up designs. BMW has no intention of re-packing an existing model and calling it an i, says Froehlich.
“We have a minimum 20 percent battery density improvement every three years, thus over the i3 and i8’s life cycle, we will offer more performance, more range or a combination of the two.”
So, expect to see both the i3 and i8 get substantially updated within two years or less, since both have already been on the market for quite awhile now.
An often-asked question was tossed Froehlich's way. The question was whether or not current i3/i8 owners will be able to upgrade when better battery tech comes. Froehlich's answer was no:
“I don’t think a retrofit makes sense. When better batteries are available, we could then offer models with a longer range or with the same range but at a lower price.”
Source: Automotive News