Tesla needs to watch its back. The all-electric Model X hasn’t even hit the market yet and already, luxury competitors are gearing up to combat it. Audi is prepping an all-electric concept for Frankfurt that previews a Model X-fighting CUV, and now BMW is allegedly prepping a third member of its i sub-brand, in the form of an American-built, all-electric crossover.
Germany’s Wirtschaftswoche claims the plan is awaiting board approval for production in Spartanburg, where BMW already builds the entirety of its X lineup. BMW, for its part, has told Automotive News Europe that the report is simply “speculation.”
Speculation or no, we agree with Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst, who told Automotive News that adding a crossover to the i family is a logical move. “In our view an iSUV makes perfect sense for BMW. SUVs are in demand and given the market’s reaction to Tesla’s Model X so far, it seems to be a good fit for families and suburban commuters.”
While Audi is preparing to offer its Model X fighter by 2018, though, Ellinghorst told AN not to expect BMW’s entry to the segment before then.