BMW has revealed its future plans for a series of new models based on a single shared platform, which will become the basis for future ‘i’ models alongside a series of hybrid and fully-electric versions of its current model line-up.
This plan is a core part of the German carmaker's strategy and aims to build upon the current ‘i’ and ‘iPerformance’ divisions as a base to bring a total of 25 electric BMW’s to market by the year 2025, with 12 of the slated models being pure electric.
At the centre of this plan is BMW’s revised CLAR platform. This will break cover in 2021 under the iNEXT moniker, the all-new flagship ‘i’ car that should introduce the world to BMW’s most advanced autonomous vehicle to date. This new platform will be used throughout future models alongside a revised version of BMW’s front-wheel-drive platform (dubbed FAAR) which currently underpins the Mini range.
The really clever aspect of both the CLAR and FAAR platforms though is their adaptability. Both platforms can be deployed with either fully electric, hybrid or even conventional combustion engine powertrains. The battery setups can also be varied by height with the higher version being used in SUV models, and the lower version being used in coupe and saloon models.
BMW’s current ‘Gen 4’ electric vehicles consist of the revised i8 coupe and roadster models, the i3 94ah ending with the upcoming all-electric Mini. Following this, the new ‘Gen 5’ models will start with an all-electric version of the X3, the iVision Dynamics saloon and the unspecified iNEXT model.
The ‘Gen 5’ models will introduce a revised compact electric motor setup with improved efficiency that will deliver power to the road via a single-speed gearbox. This setup will be offered in a series of outputs ranging from 100kW (134bhp) for base models with 300kW (443bhp) plus being offered for high-performance versions.
Front-wheel drive FAAR platform based models are expected to feature a front-mounted electric motor pushing out 200kW (269bhp), with its CLAR based rear-wheel drive variants boasting a 220kW (295bhp) version. BMW has also hinted that these electric motor setups could be varied with twin or treble variants for more powerful models. This variation in setup could also be deployed with a motor on each wheel for all-wheel drive.
These variable platforms will be able to accommodate a number battery pack setups giving a range of between 270 to 330 miles depending on the capacity specified.
BMW has several aims with this grand electric masterplan, the first being to continue to reduce the overall CO2 emissions from its range by 2025 and the second being to continue to evolve its electric ‘i’ range to offer a vastly wider choice of vehicles which the company predicts will increase their market share dramatically.
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