The BMW iNext Concept SUV was first previewed at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show. Since then, we have seen spy images of pre-production prototype test mules of the vehicle surface on the internet a couple of times. Now, as BMW is nearing the unveil of the production-spec version of the car this year itself, we have some exclusive spy images of the BMW iNext straight from Munich in close-to-production form. The test mule seen here is wearing far less camouflage than the one spotted previously. These images were shared with us by Arnab Biswas, a regular IAB reader from the capital of Bavaria.
These new images reveal some interesting design details of the upcoming SUV. The first thing that you notice from even over the camouflage is the oversized kidney grille from the new BMW M3 and M4. Well, it's not actually a grille but a panel that houses sensors for the autonomous level 3 system. The other most notable design highlight is that this BMW electric SUV ditches the “angel-eye” daytime running lights design with something more like an eyebrow at the top of the light. The nose is pretty upright and the bumper features a deep and wide lip spoiler. Over to the sides, the funky-looking pinched C-pillar design looks quite cool and is even reminiscent of the i3 hatchback.
Towards the rear, the BMW iNext can be seen boasting very slender LED tail lamps, a roof-mounted spoiler and a diffuser down below, of course, without exhaust pipes. Overall, the iNext has a very rounded design and is not as edgy as BMW's ICE-powered SUV. This is also the first time we get a completely uncamouflaged look inside the cabin of the BMW iNext and the first impressions are that it looks very close to the concept. The cabin has a very minimalist theme and is a beautiful mix of wood, fabric and metal with digital displays. One of the most striking design features is the table-style center console dividing the front seats. It houses several controls including what looks like the drive-mode selector and a glass rotary dial for the infotainment screen.
But the real highlight of the interior has to be the huge single-pane curved display for the infotainment screen and instrument cluster. Other neat touches such as the seamless AC vents on the dashboard, nifty storage spaces under the center console, two-spoke steering wheel and sports seats also look pretty cool. Speaking of the electric powertrain, it will come with front and rear axle-mounted motors - for all-wheel drive - and the battery will be placed on the floor. BMW is likely to offer the iNext in three states of tune - 308 hp (229 kW), 522 hp (389 kW), and 610 hp (454 kW) - powered by an 80kWh battery. The range is expected to exceed 600km, though that figure likely applies to the optimistic WLTP test cycle.
The BMW iNext Concept was similarly sized to a BMW X5, perhaps a tad smaller. In terms of size, it could thus fit in between the X3 and X5, although it appears to be riding much lower than them. The production-spec iNext should be one of the faster electric SUVs. Its biggest highlight will likely be its interior space, thanks to the EV-specific architecture that features superior packaging. BMW hasn't yet revealed the name of the SUV though. However, rumors suggest it could be called the iX or the iX5. We expect BMW to continue teasing the new model leading up to the official reveal, where we’ll learn much more about the model, including the name.