BMW is unlikely to launch a redesigned i3 judging by recent comments made by a senior executive at the automaker.
Speaking with the Financial Times in an interview published Sunday, Pieter Nota, BMW’s sales and marketing chief, said there were no plans for an i3 successor as BMW is more focused on electrifying its core models.
“There’s no specific plan for an i3 successor,” he said. “We are now bringing electrification more to the mainstream.”
The news isn't surprising as BMW in 2016 changed the focus of its i division to self-driving capability, after it become clear at the automaker that electrification would need to expand across the lineup to meet future emissions standards as well as changing customer requirements.
It doesn't mean BMW will give up on standalone cars for the i division. In 2021 we'll see an electric SUV currently code-named the iNext. It's rumored to carry the i6 name into production and will be BMW's showpiece for demonstrating self-driving technologies. An i4 is also coming, though this is expected to be a member of the next 4-Series family.
And the i3 will have a life cycle longer than the typical seven-year span of a BMW, meaning it could remain on sale for several years still. Nota in his interview said sales in the first half of 2019 were actually up about 21 percent compared to the previous year despite the i3 being in its sixth year on the market. This is likely due to the car being given a bigger battery late last year coupled with increased demand for EVs.
As for the i division's other model, the i8, BMW has made hints that the car's platform will be used for a more powerful plug-in hybrid sports car from the M division. Such a car was previewed in June by the Vision M Next concept.