A set of very interesting and compelling images has appeared on the web, with the patent publication sourced from Japan allegedly depicting the looks of the BMW i5.
Back in November 2015 BMW’s board member for sales and marketing, Ian Robertson, spilled the beans on the brand’s third green “i” model that would become a stretched i3 or even a proper sedan designed to take on the upcoming Tesla Model 3. Judging from these patent designs, it appears the first option was chosen – the sketches depict what appears to be an elongated i3 with some detailing taken from the i8. The front end has the similar kidney grille as used by the other two “i” models, as well as sweptback headlights inspired by the i8. The side features conventional mirrors – an indication this might be the production model, not a concept. The handle doors are unified and the rear is looking like a stretched and elongated i3, which is not overly appealing.
Since there’s just a cap we imagine this to be a fully electric version, not like the i3 range extender or the plug-in hybrid i8. The futuristic design is not really looking great in this transposition that combines elements from the i3 with the i8, but we might get a different design when the time comes. And let’s not forget there were other patent images leaked that showed a concept registered with the Chinese trademark bureau – they were depicting a research vehicle based on the i8, with a fuel cell powertrain and not intended for production.