The third “i” model will join the already available i3 city car and the i8 sportscar, with reports speculating it will take the shape of a four-door sedan capable of carrying up to four people. It is believed BMW’s engineers want to make the i5 more spacious than a 3-Series by implementing the longest possible wheelbase while keeping the front and rear overhangs as short as possible.
The report goes on to specify the trunk will be spacious enough to carry a family’s luggage as its size will not be affected in any way by the installation of the electric motor which will be positioned between the rear wheels.
It’s bound to use an adaptation of the lightweight construction implemented in the other i-badged models and will allegedly be offered both as a plug-in hybrid and as a pure electric car. The first version is expected to receive a rear-mounted electric motor pushing out 275 bhp and working together with a front-mounted three- or four-cylinder combustion engine which will likely be a turbocharged gasoline unit.
As for the fully electric BMW i5, this will have a 225 bhp electric motor mounted at the back and will compete head to head with the Tesla Model S. Both the plug-in hybrid and EV versions will benefit from a torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system and it is believed the weight won’t surpass the 1,564 kg mark.
At the moment of writing there aren’t any details as far as the price tag is concerned, bust most likely BMW will launch the i5 at roughly the same price as the aforementioned Model S. Production should start in 2019 at the Leipzig factory in Germany where the company assembles the i3 and 8 models. Hopefully by then, battery technology will evolve to enable a longer electric range which is the biggest problem with current EVs, along with the prohibitive price tag of some models.
Source: Automobile Magazine