BMW recently said goodbye to the i3 after making 250,000 unique hatchbacks in eight years. The alphanumeric designation lives on in China for the long wheelbase 3 Series Sedan EV while Europe and other regions get the iX1, but there’s no direct replacement for the eccentric city car. It looks like a true entry-level EV from the Bavarian brand isn’t going on sale anytime soon, at least according to a well-known company insider.
Bimmer’s post forum member ynguldyn believe not one but two affordable electric BMWs are allocated for the second half of the decade, and both will be produced in-house in Germany. Leading the way is the i1, which appears to already carry the codename “NB0” and will hit the assembly line in November 2027. The BMW i2 (“NB8”) will follow in July 2028, with both set to remain in production until around 2035.
The Duo EV will ride on the Neue Klasse platform and will serve as the electric equivalent of the Series 1 and Series 2. This architecture is being engineered to offer a front-wheel drive configuration along with RWD and AWD setups as it will be implemented across the range. The BMW i1 can be either a hatchback or a sedan as the name iX1 has been assigned to a crossover. By the way, the second generation iX1 on the NE architecture is believed to go into production in July 2027.
The BMW i2 is a bit more confusing because it can take one of the following forms: 2 Series Coupe, 2 Series Gran Coupe, or 2 Series Active Tourer – all with an electric powertrain, of course. Regardless, it will still be some time before these cars come out as the company is focused on launching the Neue Klasse in 2025 with models in the 3 Series and X3 Sedan segments.
While the NE will halve production costs, the smaller and therefore cheaper electric vehicle won’t benefit BMW like the i3 or iX3 Sedan, much less the rumored iX7. These future EVs will use the company’s sixth-generation battery technology, moving from a prismatic to a cylindrical shape. A 30 percent increase in charging range and speed has been promised, along with a 60 percent reduction in emissions generated during manufacturing.
As a final note, recent reports from the same source speculate that an iX4 is planned, but not a next-generation X4 with a combustion engine.