BMW AG, the biggest premium automaker in the world will continue to invest in its green lineup, the so-called “i” subbrand, by adding a completely new model, the i5.
The numerical reference will not be just a way to position the model between the slick city electric car i3 and plug-in hybrid supercar i8, but also a direct reference to a model in the “traditional” range – the 5 Series midrange executive sedan. The news is still in rumor status, with the report coming from Germany’s auto magazine AutoBild – with the deliveries of the i5 plug-in hybrid to be seen in 2018 and with the model having the potential to quickly climb to the top-selling place among the i models. The company did not confirm the “speculation” and said the range’s expansion has not been decided yet. But it makes sense to add a new model in between the battery-driven compact hatchback and the stylish two-door supercar. The magazine further said the i5 would be fitted with a powertrain consisting of a gasoline engine and two electric motors, also offering an all-electric range of up to 125km (65 miles), more than what traditional plug-in hybrids have on offer today (they usually have around half that range).
Just last month the company’s research and development boss hinted BMW was still in the process of selecting a type of model to be derived towards its eco-conscious subbrand. He also panned other reports the new variant would be based on the X5 sport utility vehicle. The report continues to point that the i5 model would use the long wheelbase version of the 5 Series, currently exclusive to China and also bring design elements from the upcoming 7 Series flagship, while its dimensions would be very close to the 6 Series GranCoupe.
VIa Automotive News Europe