BMW wants to extend “i” family image

Just as the i3 all electric city car is preparing to expand its production cadence and the German automaker is almost ready to launch sales of the hybrid i8 flagship, the company also thinks about the future.

That means the investments made in setting up the “i” eco-driven subbrand would need to pay off sooner than later – BMW has had huge costs in developing the advanced carbon fiber chassis. And, after the initial models do seem fairly successful – when considering their niche status – the best way to get back your investment is to give customers more choices.

The hybrid i8 sports car will start first deliveries in June and BMW already says its production for the year has been reserved, while the carbon fiber joint venture in the USA has begun expanding the factory to allow increased production.

That means more i3 and i8 could roll off the production lines, but it also suggests that BMW is preparing for the next steps. According to the company officials, while new models shouldn’t be expected in less than three years, they are green lit.

First off – the company plans an expansion of the base model, the i3, which could get new body versions – a stretched wheelbase variant (probably for the Chinese customers, which like to use the back seat), an MPV style van drawing inspiration from the 2 Series Active Tourer or a more sporty i3 coupe. Then, the automaker will move on to fill the slots in between the i3 and i8 – but no details have been given so far.

Via Automobilwoche