The Jaguar I-Pace is already on sale. The Mercedes EQC and Audi E-Tron are coming soon. What of BMW's first battery-electric SUV, then? Well, it's currently in Sweden undergoing cold-weather testing.
The BMW iNext might not be the first to market, but that doesn't seem to bother BMW. The company last week published a series of photos of its camouflaged SUV undergoing winter testing at its test center in Arjeplog, Sweden. It's pretty traditionally shaped, although the massive grille-shaped cutouts up front let you know it probably won't stray too far from the BMW iX3 concept, with a dash of BMW Vision iNext thrown in the mix.
Cold-weather testing is supremely important for EVs. Not only does it ensure the vehicle can handle all manner of weather, but the automaker also needs to make sure that the battery can withstand low temperatures without losing all its range. It's also using this time to fine-tune the steering and brakes. Winter testing doesn't just happen on snow -- BMW also tests vehicles on gravel, asphalt and ice.
BMW says that the iNext will enter production in 2021 at its facility in Dingolfing. This site is BMW's largest production site in Europe, producing hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year. A workforce of about 18,000 people work to build the 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 Series, in addition to some Rolls-Royce bodies and BMW EV components. Thankfully, there's room for at least one more model in there.
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