The BMW i3 and i8 may have spearheaded Munich’s foray into electric power, but while the i brand will be pushing on with the i4, the iNEXT and pure electric versions of BMW’s regular vehicle lineup, the future of the two seminal models still hang in the balance, according to an Automotive News report.

Discontinuing the electric hatchback and plug-in hybrid sports car after they reach the end of their respective lifespans is still an open decision, with BMW’s head of electric powertrains Stefan Juraschek telling the publication that it was still too early to say if the i3 and i8 will spawn successors – despite the two cars entering their fifth year in production.

“These cars are very unique,” he said. “These two cars were not [developed] as a family that we can expand in different [ways] or maybe five or 10 derivatives.”

Company officials said that the i3 and i8 instead served as technological showcases, with their pioneering features – such as their carbon fibre construction and the i8’s PHEV system – allowing BMW to go down its current route of electric vehicle development.

Jurascek added that the company is overhauling its core platforms to accommodate internal combustion, electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains, and these next-generation architectures will be ready for production after 2021. The electric vehicle componentry will be grouped into a modular kit compatible with the platforms. “Therefore, we are very flexible at that point,” Juraschek said.

In any case, the current i3 and i8 won’t be leaving the world so soon, as the two cars have recently been revamped. The i3 was facelifted last year with longer range and a sportier 184 hp i3s variant, while the i8 finally gained a long-promised Roadster version and increased electric range.

GALLERY: BMW i3 facelift


GALLERY: BMW i8 Roadster