The BMW i3 and i8 both wear rather extreme designs, and the looks are absolutely on purpose. Future electric cars from the German brand, however, won’t be as dramatic.
Speaking to Autocar, BMW design director Adrian van Hooydonk said electrification will soon be mainstream. When the i3 and i8 first launched, electrification was rather new. Thus, the two cars needed designs to separate them from the pack.
“The fact is that BMW customers want a dynamic car, whether it is a battery-electric vehicle or not, and so there’s is increasingly less reason to make these kinds of cars look different,” he said.
Van Hooydonk added electrification will spread through BMW very quickly, and soon, a plug-in hybrid or battery-electric powertrain will be “just another option box you tick as you order the car.”
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Indeed, many automakers have tried to create designs that stand out from the pack when it comes to electrified cars. Both the first generation Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf adopted the approach, while the second-generation cars give off a more mainstream look.
The less dramatic design ethos is already showing through at BMW, though. The upcoming iX3 electric crossover borrows its looks heavily from the standard X3, and the future i4 electric car will be a grand coupe based on the 4-Series. Neither will sport i8 levels of radical styling.
Where we may see drama re-enter the picture is the BMW iNext, the brand’s forthcoming electric crossover.
A version of this story originally appeared on Hybrid Cars.