According to German publication, Manager Magazin, Apple is considering the BMW i3 as a platform to build its first car.
Though the two organizations have attempted to ink a deal before without results, BMW and Apple have remained in communication and are reportedly close to finalizing an agreement that would utilize BMW’s manufacturing, sales, and service resources in support of Apple’s automotive debut.
The publication stated that Apple CEO Tim Cook visited BMW’s Leipzig factory to assess the i3’s production process. Since then, executives from both brands have engaged in a discussion about an Apple-branded and designed model to be based on the i3. The “Project Titan” would have minivan-like styling as opposed to the BMW i3’s hatchback shape.
Previously, it was rumored that Apple would simply be involved in developing software for BMW models, but these more involved discussions could lead to Apple’s first model being built in Bavaria, sold at BMW dealerships, and serviced by BMW technicians before the end of the decade.
Specifics related to the vehicle’s powertrain and technology are scarce, but expect some or all of the BMW i3’s electric components to carry over with the addition of Apple-developed autonomous driving technology. Whether that same technology would appear on other BMW models is unclear, but if so, BMW would have an opportunity to better challenge Tesla, which plans to reveal a semi-autonomous Model S next year.
Besides self-driving technology, expect a new level of convenience features that fit a technology-first brand’s approach to the transportation world.