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Car and Driver: BMW’s iNEXT: A Self-Driving Electric Car for 2021


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-What will be the big-ticket item at BMW dealerships in five years? According to CEO Harald Krueger, it’ll be an all-electric luxury sedan that will be able to drive itself in most scenarios. The Ultimate Self-Driving Machine?


In his comments released to kick off BMW’s annual shareholder’s meeting in Munich, Krueger announced plans for the 2021 BMW iNEXT. Krueger describes it as “our new innovation driver, with autonomous driving, digital connectivity, intelligent lightweight design, a totally new interior and ultimately bringing the next generation of electro-mobility to the road.”


Krueger, who has held the CEO spot for a year and has been with BMW since 1992, is leading a major push to expand the automaker’s “i” sub-brand of hybrid and electric vehicles. In March, Krueger showed off the BMW Next 100 concept car (shown above), a look at what a BMW from the year 2116 might look like, and do—it’s autonomous, but allows human operation in “boost” mode.


Between now and 2021, BMW’s plans include updating the i8 with more driving range and lower curb weight, as well as adding a roadster version for 2018.


Krueger says BMW has sold more than 50,000 “i” vehicles since the sub-brand’s launch in 2013. But as Automotive News reports, the automaker may lose its position as the top-selling luxury brand this year. Mercedes outsold BMW in the first quarter of 2016, despite numerous price cuts across the BMW lineup. That’s to say nothing of the pressure from luxury competitors, including Mercedes, Audi, Volvo and Tesla, all of which are pushing semi-autonomous technology as a luxury and safety feature.


This story originally appeared on Road & Track.


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