According to BMW, all of its i sub-brand offerings will be ground-up, dedicated plug-in electric cars.  Therefore, this rumored upcoming iSUV will not be based on any of the automaker's current Sport Utility Vehicles.  Instead, this will be an all-new SUV to rival the Tesla Model S.

News of this iSUV comes via German sources who state that the vehicle will be built in the U.S. at BMW's Spartanburg factory where the X3, X4, X5 and X6 crossovers are currently made.

BMW has not denied this rumor, but rather claims that its "speculation."

We believe that an iSUV is a perfect choice for the third model in BMW's i lineup and suspect that these rumors do indeed line up with the automaker's plans.  The iSUV is expected to launch prior to 2018.

Arndt Ellinghorst, head of global automotive research at Evercore ISI, told investors:

"In our view an iSUV makes perfect sense for BMW. SUVs are in demand and given the market's reaction to Tesla's Model X so far, it seems to be a good fit for families and suburban commuters.”

Source: Automotive News