Motoring sleuths in the north have been sharing more information and images of the upcoming BMW i5.
Although the cars are still heavily camouflaged it seems clear that the new i5 will have a face that more than just a mother can love, so no split headlights or enlarged kidneys like on the new i7/7 Series or a rodent face a la the 4 Series/i4. The side and rear styling will also be similar design to the current 5 series. This is very much aligned to BMW design head, Domagoj Dukec’s design strategy to give BMW models different front-end designs, thereby rejecting Audi and Mercedes-Benz’s matryoshka doll-like design approach.
The good news is that although the interior is still very much under wraps the slanted infotainment screen and iDrive 8 system found in the new 7 will also make its debut in the 5 Series. Whether it will feature the i7 and SUV sibling iX’s lounge-like interior styling with crystal dials and onslaught of screens remains to be seen but 5 Series buyers typically expect performance and sheer driving pleasure in a compact executive sedan, especially when it’s eventually launched in M5 guise.
If sources are to be believed, BMW will initially launch three i5 models: the BMW i5 eDrive40, BMW i5 xDrive40 and BMW i5 M50. The full-electric BMWs, unlike its competitors, are built on the same platforms as their ICE siblings and, like the current 5 Series the new i5 will also be built on the 4 series/i4 platform.
Sadly, no details regarding power output, number of batteries, range, etc. have been released yet. The current TwinPower 8-cylinder petrol M5 CS is the fastest M5 ever to be built and generates a healthy 476 kW and reaches 100 km/h in 2,9 seconds, so an M-powered i5 will have its work cut out for it. That said, M versions might be able to accommodate three electric motors and will most likely be able to generate over 500 kW with a range north of 600 km (WLTP).
Words: Thys de Beer