PERHAPS THE BIGGEST threat now facing Tesla isn’t its ability to scale up Model 3 production or nail down autonomous driving software;
it might actually be that the mainstream auto industry is finally entering the market Elon Musk’s upstart car company has long dominated.
For five years, Tesla’s Model S has monopolized the luxury electric sedan market, but that dominance is now besieged.
Porsche is spending more than a billion dollars to develop the Mission E, a svelte speedster it plans to launch in 2020.
Audi’s planning an onslaught of new EVs over the next three years, including the A9 e-Tron, which will become the automaker’s new flagship.
Now, BMW joins the enemies at Elon’s gates. This week at the Frankfurt Motor Show it revealed the I Vision Dynamics, a four-door electric car it says will offer a range of 373 miles and performance specs that rival Tesla’s (a top speed of 120 mph and a 0 to 60 mph sprint in four seconds).
As the “Vision” bit of the name indicates, this is just a concept—for now. Compared to the fully bananas Vision Next 100 Conceptit made to celebrate its 100th birthday, the
Compared to the fully bananas Vision Next 100 Conceptit made to celebrate its 100th birthday,
the I Vision is all about the near-term future and will go into series production at some point in the next few years. Indeed, it looks more like a car you could buy than many concepts—it just needs real side view mirrors and maybe some regular door handles.
Indeed, it looks more like a car you could buy than many concepts—it just needs real side view mirrors and maybe some regular door handles.
BMW’s been making electric cars for a few years now: In 2013 it introduced the funky-looking, fun to drive i3, a $42,400 urban runabout. A year later came the plugin hybrid i8, a $143,400 two-seat supercarmade mostly to attract attention. But those niche models make up a tiny percent of the vehicles BMW sells every year. When the i Vision makes the leap from concept to production, it will mark the first time BMW applies electric propulsion not to the outskirts of its portfolio, but to the kind of car on which it has built its brand and most of its sales: sporty sedans.