BMW Will Reportedly Ax The Z4, 8 Series And Others To Cut Costs In The 2020s

More SUVs and electric models are coming

2019 BMW 8 Series convertible
Models including the BMW 8 Series coupe and convertible are reportedly on the chopping block, according to recent reports.

BMW plans to trim its slow selling models, while releasing new ones.

Take a look at the Bavarian automaker’s current lineup, and you’d be forgiven for thinking things as they stand are a bit complicated, with all the brand’s niche models. According to a recent Automobile report, BMW agrees, and plans to discontinue some niche models as it revamps its lineup. The company is also trimming its slow-selling models to shore up operating expenses through the next decade.

Anonymous sources reportedly told Automobile that several models are on the chopping block, including the 2 Series convertible and standard-wheelbase 7 Series (which isn’t sold in the U.S.). More surprisingly, though, the list of dead cars includes the X2, 8 Series and next-generation Z4.

While the BMW Z4 just went on sale, it likely won’t go away until the end of its current lifespan. [Photo: BMW]

Moving toward more, bigger SUVs

The 8 Series and Z4 in particular are strange additions to the list, since they both just went on sale. However, since they are new additions to BMW’s lineup, they should stick around for at least another four to eight years. It just depends on whether BMW wants to give either car a mid-cycle refresh before giving them the ax, if that’s indeed what happens.

In their place, BMW reportedly signed off on a new X8, which won’t be just a coupe version of the three-row X7. Instead, per the report, it will be “an emphatically sporty crossover which will be exclusively offered in M Performance and X8 M forms.” Beyond that, these models will also pack a plug-in hybrid powertrain that uses a 168 horsepower electric motor paired to a 60-kWh battery pack. That will allow a driving range of up to 60 miles, as well as more flat-out power.

New electric models on the way

Speaking of plug-in hybrids, BMW’s need to cut emissions across its lineup is another reason to cull slow-selling and niche models. To that end, the company will replace the current i3 and i8 in the coming years. The i3 will reportedly be phased out, as its replacement is due in 2022 as an EV and a fuel-cell vehicle.

As for the i8, a redesign is also due in 2022. The new version will reportedly get an upgraded 201 horsepower electric motor as well as a 340 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. That will up the power to a healthy 544 horsepower — a substantial increase from the current model’s 369.

In 2021, BMW will introduce the iNext crossover, as a larger offering against the diminutive i3 and its replacement. BMW will most likely call the current concept the i6, and launch it with a 63-kWh battery pack and 335 horsepower motor, making it good for a range of 285 miles.

BMW also plans to release a fully-electric variant of the X3 in the coming years. At this point, BMW has not officially commented on Automobiles’ report, nor has it fully laid out its future product plans for public consumption just yet. In light of CEO Harald Krueger’s plans to retire on August 15, it’s not a major surprise to see some details emerge of where the company may head under his replacement, Oliver Zipse.