BMW Trademarks i1 Through i9 in Preparation for its EV Onslaught
BMW has now trademarked all names from i1 to i9, adding it to a list that also includes iX1 through iX9 – signifying that German brand is about to unleash a furious lineup of electric vehicles to combat those from rivals like Mercedes which will be boasting its EQ brand in the coming years. Along with these new trademarks, new reports from BMWBlog imply that the entire BMW range could, indeed see full electrification. This new strategy, it seems, will see BMW present as many as 25 electrified vehicles, at least 12 of which will be all-electric within the next decade, or 2025 to be more specific.
Chairman of the Board for BMW, Harald Kruger, has confirmed that BMW does own the rights to all 18 names. “Our i story enters the next round. Going forward, all electrified BMW models will be under the BMW i brand. And I can tell you one more thing: We have not only secured the naming rights for BMW i – from i1 to i9. We also hold the rights for BMW X – from iX1 to iX9,” Kruger told press member at a sneak preview of upcoming BMW products.
Furthermore, you can expect to see an all-electric Mini hitting the market in 2019, which will ultimately be followed by a battery-powered version of the BMW X3 in 2020. Just one year after that in 2021, the new iNEXT should come in 2021. There will also, with near certainty be an i5 added to the mix somewhere in the next 5 years as well. The all-electric future is here folks. We might as well, sit down, buckle up, and make the best of it.
BMW is only two short years away from celebrating its 100th year in business, and speculation around how the German automaker will celebrate is starting to grow. One heavily speculated party place is within the BMW i division. A conversation between BMW’s senior spokesman Kai Lichte and Motoring.com.au shed just a little more light on the upcoming situation. Plans for a more powerful version of the i8, the i9, are rumored to already be in the works. Also on the table is the i5, an all-new i vehicle loosely described as a stretched i3. Lichte’s answer to Motoring’s query is somewhat vague. “in two years’ time, maybe we will have some surprises for our anniversary,” he says. “There are a lot of discussions and a lot of ideas for this special occasion.”
Since the i9 is based on the current i8, it’s likely it will see production first. The i9 will basically swap out the i8’s inline three-cylinder for a more potent 3.0-liter, turbocharged, inline six-cylinder, elevating it to near-supercar levels of performance. It would also serve as a modern-day interpretation of the iconic BMW M1 of the late 1970s.
The i5, on the other hand, will likely need more development time. It’s said the i5 will probably hit production in 2017, a year after BMW’s actual birthday. Perhaps the i9 will be BMW’s physical present to itself while the announcement of the i5 will continue the birthday hype into the future.
However at this point, BMW is still trying to figure out how to increase i-branded production at its new plant in Leipzig, Germany. "When we decide on more i models, then we would need more production capacity and … the next two years I think we have (are) limited to the current production line," Lichte concluded.
Note: BMW i8 pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i5 and i9.
Note: Current BMW i8 pictured here.
There’s been a lot of talk about BMW’s plan to expand the i range beyond the current i3 hatchback and i8 sports car. A larger i5 to slot above the i3, for instance, has been in the rumor mill since last year. More recently though, certain reports are talking about an i9, essentially a plug-in hybrid supercar, placed atop the brand-new i8. The new vehicle will arrive in 2016, German outlet Auto Motor and Sport reports, just in time to celebrate BMW’s 100th anniversary.
Reportedly developed as a spiritual successor to the iconic M1 built between 1978 and 1981, the i9 will be a beefed-up version of the i8 with a more aggressive design and a more potent hybrid drivetrain. Naturally, the i9 will benefit from the same 50:50 weight distribution as the i8, while extensive use of carbon-fiber and aluminum will help keep weight in the 3,300-pound area in spite of its larger gasoline engine and electric motor.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW i9.