BMW released its first two electrified "i" cars within a year of each other, with the i3 hatchback and the i8 sports car, but it looks like there is going to be a bit of wait before others will join the lineup. According to a report from Automotive News, Klaus Froehlich, head of BMW Group research and development, said that a third BMW i car is currently in the “brainstorm” phase of development and would debut after 2020.

Froehlich provided no additional information about the future plug-in model, but he did say that it would not be based on the BMW X5. Additionally, he stated that, like the i3 and i8, all future i models will have their own styling and performance while maintaining the sub brand’s green, low-emission mantra. This essentially means that BMW will continue to offer a separation between plug-in versions of its conventional vehicles – like the recently announced X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid – and the more distinctive cars under the BMW i lineup.

While Froehlich wouldn’t say what sort of vehicle this future model would be, recent rumors seem to point at a more traditional, sedan-based vehicle possibly even wearing the i5 or i7 name.

Continue reading to learn more about BMW’s future third i model.

Why it matters

While it has yet to be determined what sort of vehicle the next BMW i car will be, there is a good chance that it will be a higher-volume model to compete against either the Tesla Model S sedan or the Tesla Model X SUV.

BMW i8

2015 BMW i8 High Resolution Exterior
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Source: Automotive News

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