These two prototypes are very different than the ones we've seen prior.
Here’s something our spy team wasn’t expecting to find, but it’s quite a find indeed. Sitting on a transporter were not one, but two BMW iNEXT prototypes, easily identified both by shape and the required Electric Test Vehicle markings. Take a closer look, however, and you’ll see these prototypes aren’t quite the same as what we’ve seen previously. In short, these two camo-wrapped electric SUVs could be sporting production-spec bodies.
The obvious difference is found in the side windows and beltline. These vehicles have different C and D pillars, with the rearmost side windows getting an up-kink similar to the X5. It’s clearly a completely different greenhouse at the rear, but a close look at the front reveals some differences, too. These prototypes have a front fascia that appears completely closed in, and the entire nose has a more pronounced slope. Pointed headlights are clearly defined as well, and it all points to these prototypes being production-based test vehicles as opposed to powertrain mules with near-production skin.
Gallery: 2021 BMW iNext Spy Photos
Not everything is production-spec. The rear fascia is fitted with lights and reflectors that are simply there for testing purposes, and some added cladding on the rear hatch around the window could obscure the SUV’s final shape for its backside. We do get a proper sense of size, however, as one of the prototypes is parked beneath a blue X5 on the trailer. There are some clear similarities in design, but the iNEXT appears just a bit longer overall with a slightly longer wheelbase as well. This all-electric people-mover won’t be small.
Since these prototypes were stuck on a truck, the photographer swooped in for a look at the interior. Most items are covered, and with generic test controls mounted through the compartment, we’re not looking at a production-ready interior. However, that is definitely the iNEXT steering wheel that BMW just teased a couple of days ago, and the dash has the makings for the wraparound display BMW said was coming.
We’re still a long ways off from seeing this EV on the road, with a launch for the 2021 model year expected. At least we know the iNEXT development process is well on its way to meeting that deadline.