BMW’s previous conflicted messages surrounding a potential i8 convertible appear to be settled, with an i8 roadster based on the i8 coupe apparently given a green light. The new i8 roadster will also be a part of BMW’s new future strategy, which they call “Strategy Number One>NEXT.”
In layman’s terms, the strategy diversifies BMW’s electrified vehicle portfolio and includes the formation of their own ‘iNEXT’ sub-brand, which will be an evolution of the company’s current i electric vehicle brand. This “Project i 2.0” will also focus on the evolution of advanced mapping, autonomous-driving, and artificial intelligence technologies.
The new i8 roadster will be born under this new ‘iNEXT’ sub-brand, as well as a plug-in hybrid Mini, and the previously announced i3 EV update. BMW hasn’t specified what form the PHEV Mini will take, and could be based on a standard Cooper hatch, a Clubman or even the next Countryman crossover. As for the i3 EV, it will no doubt feature a higher-capacity battery and perhaps an even more efficient electric drivetrain to help boost the available driving range.
These three new electrified BMWs should help establish BMW iNEXT’s goals of developing “trendsetting technologies and services, subsequently transferring them to the BMW model range.” Left out of BMW’s pronouncements, strangely, was any mention of the upcoming third i model, set to slot in between the i3 and the i8 sometime soon.