After announcing the BMW Vision M NEXT last year, BMW have officially cancelled any plans to produce the vehicle. It was supposedly intended to both replace the BMW i8, as well as go up against Tesla’s Roadster, as BMW’s plug-in hybrid supercar.
This news doesn’t exactly come as a great surprise, as BMW discontinued the i8 after it’s lackluster sales performance. The Vision M NEXT, was supposed to have more all-electric range, with a battery capable of 100 km (62 miles) on a charge. Additionally, and we aren’t making this up, the vehicle was sound designed by famous composer, Hans Zimmer, and would make an epic sound when put into BOOST mode!
This news comes at a time when automakers are cancelling many electric-centered high-end vehicles. Especially automakers who were slower to get on the development bandwagon in the first place. As car sales nearly vanished in Q1 of this year, it puts legacy manufacturers in a tight spot; do they innovate and strive for the upper echelons of performance, or to release more affordable family cars.
Of course, despite the lack of interest in the i8 and the pandemic, which were cited as reasons to cancel the M NEXT, BMW does still intend to release their smaller i4 and iNext in the coming year. So in that sense, the legacy of the i3 and i8 will live on…
It does beg the question, why not just make a fully-electric sports car? BMW has the speed pedigree, and it’s not like range was the main focus of the Vision M NEXT anyway. Lose the engine, and add some more batteries, then also lose the silly name that nobody wants to say or type, and you have the makings of a killer supercar.