BMW has released details about its Vision iNext concept vehicle — a semi-autonomous battery-electric crossover that will launch in 2021 as the flagship of its i subbrand of electrified vehicles. The vehicle will use conditional automation, meaning it can steer itself and drive autonomously on highways. In an emergency, the vehicle can pull over and bring itself to a standstill.
BMW AG showed the vehicle in Munich on Sept. 16 at its annual general meeting, following a global preview tour of the vehicle to the media earlier this month. Technology introduced on the vehicle is expected to trickle down to other vehicles in BMW's lineup.
"The iNext project will provide our building blocks for the future from which the entire company and all of its brands are set to benefit," said Harald Krüger, BMW Group's chairman of the board of management.
The production iNext will be equipped with BMW's fifth-generation eDrive electric drivetrain and batteries that will offer a range exceeding 600 kilometers (373 miles) under European testing protocols. The company hasn't released U.S. EPA range or fuel economy ratings.
The concept vehicle shows several new ideas for BMW, including smart fabrics in the cabin that allow rear-seat passengers to control media from the seat fabric. The vehicle uses "shy tech" that refers to functionality that blends into the background when not being used.
The front grille uses a butterfly-style version of its kidney pattern.
Read BMW's iNext release for full details.