The BMW Vision iNEXT, which was first revealed in September, serves as a preview for an upcoming all-electric SUV from the German carmaker. If the design of the concept is appealing to you, good news, because the production version will look quite similar to the show car.

This is according to BMW Group design director, Adrian van Hooydonk, who spoke to Top Gear at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. “It’s a vision car so it shows all the ideas that we have and that we’re working on. The production car is a little far away at the moment, 2021 is what we’re aiming for. By and large you will certainly recognise this concept car in the production vehicle,” said Hooydonk.

If you can peel your eyes away from the gargantuan kidney grilles, the Vision iNEXT features a number of nifty cues like slim headlamps, a unique wheel design, L-shaped taillights and a windscreen that sweeps into the panoramic glass roof for clear visibility.

These details, along with the vehicle’s shape, all serve to improve aerodynamics. As Hooydonk describes, “the tail end of that car will be very aerodynamic. The glasshouse tapers strongly to the rear. You need some vertical trailing off edges and the tail lamp plays a role in that. Nearly all our tail lamps do it; we always make sure there’s a trailing edge where the air can come off cleanly.”

As BMW i models are part of a new model range, Hooydonk also admits that its more fun designing i vehicle, as his team are able to start from scratch rather than having to draw up a replacement for an existing sedan or SUV.

“We consider BMW i as a start-up within the inner walls of our company. The job of i is to innovate, excite and inspire, both in technology and design terms. We feel much freer when we design an i product. The i3 and i8 opened up a door we didn’t even know was there for the design of the core products,” he explained.

With electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as autonomous driving technology playing a big part in BMW’s future, the architecture found in the iNEXT will also be used for future BMWs like the next 5 Series and 7 Series.

According to BMW, the iNEXT will launch with Level 3 autonomous driving capabilities, but by 2021, BMW will begin testing Level 5 cars. Even though the car will be capable of driving itself, the company insists it will still feel like a BMW when the driver wants to assume command.

GALLERY: BMW Vision iNEXT concept