According to German site AutoBild, BMW will expand its ‘i’ model range of electric vehicle by launching the i5 in the middle of 2019. The 2020 model year BMW i5 will come as a sedan, and with similar proportions to the BMW i3, but with a smaller drive unit (presumably because of technological advances, not because of a less capable unit), the interior is even more spacious.
The site also states that engineers will be focusing on an innovative architecture that will allow for higher unit numbers as a lower cost than the i3 and i8 models it is following.
BMW wants to focus on materials that are easy to use – it will have carbon fiber elements, but unlike the i3, carbon fiber likely won’t be the main material used.
The BMW i5 will weight in at a scant 1.5 tons and is said to have a great coefficient of drag to increase its overall efficiency.
Similar to the i3, the i5 will likely have 2 options – a pure electric version, and a range extended version. BMW’s goal with the electric sedan is a range of over 400 kilometers from the 225 horsepower motor.
For the range extended version, the i5 will have a gasoline powered engine installed to power the front wheels and should have an overall system power output of 400 hp. All wheel drive could be an option that’s available.
The article ended by saying BMW has big plans for the i5 hoping to sell 30,000 units per year in China and North America.
Surprisingly, however, is that no sources for this information are listed, so take everything as speculation. Wait, does that mean we still don’t know anything about the BMW i5?!
Although in the past BMW has hinted that the i5 will be more of a stretched i3 than simply an i3 with a different powertrain, here is a computer rendering with an i5 label from the BMWBlog.com website.
The i5 will also ensure BMW has an answer to a hydrogen fuel cell-powered Mercedes-Benz B-class, which comes to market in 2017.
According to an article on AutoCar.co.uk, BMW is set to use a revised version of the Toyota Mirai’s hydrogen fuel-cell system in a future i-brand model that is likely to be badged the i5.
Now that Japanese Automakers Toyota and Honda have taken the initiative, as well as Hyundai, with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, the race is on between German car companies.
If BMW does go ahead with a hydrogen powered i5, the BMW i sub-brand would have 3 vehicles, each with a different propulsion system.
Jacob Hard, head of BMW’s EV operations in the US, said of the BMW i5 back in April 2014, “You can probably take an educated guess at the next thought process, something a little bigger, maybe a little more range, relative to the i3. We’ve got everything trademarked and we’re exploring the best, next iteration. It is coming. It’s in development now.”
Rumors on the interwebs put the release of the BMW i5 some time in 2017, alongside the Tesla Model 3 and other 2nd generation electric vehicles like the GM Bolt and LEAF 2.0.