In the last few days, the interwebs were filled up with a rumor from AutoBild Germany regarding the highly-rumored BMW i5. The third addition to the i sub-brand has been a hot topic in the last year, with people labeling the i5 as a “Tesla killer”. The speculations ranged from a fully electric sedan to a plug-in hybrid touring, and now to a car based on the next generation G30 5 Series.
German publication Auto Bild reported that the next i model is expected to arrive in 2018, despite BMW’s R&D boss recently saying the next i car won’t arrive until 2020. Furthermore, the magazine seems to believe they have the inside scoop on the drivetrain as well. The magazine further contends the i5 will be a hybrid vehicle which relies on a 2.0-liter, three- or four-cylinder gasoline motor that reaches around 201-218 horsepower. Using Power eDrive, the front engine would develop 150 hp and rear one 268-272 hp with a 75 kWh battery. The whole powertrain would be capable of 640-670 horsepower. Running on only electricity, it would achieve somewhere between 65 and 78 miles in range.
When asked for a comment by many publications, BMW spokespeople refrained from commenting on speculations.
And with good reason. We believe that BMW is indeed working on another i car, but at the same, time, we’re reticent about the prospect of a new electric/plug-in hybrid carrying the i5 moniker while being based on a regular series production car.
No one denies that BMW needs a car to compete directly with the Tesla Model S. BMW knows that, we all know that, it’s just a matter of time until we see a car in the same segment, or at least close to it. We believe BMW is likely to take their time building another electric car and will focus in the near future on how to improve their first electric vehicle, the i3, and especially, on how to better market it.
Now at the same, it is likely that BMW will preview in the next year or so, another Vision Concept car to highlight the company’s future vision (no pun intended).
For now, let’s table those speculations and refrain from adding more fuel to the fire.