The upcoming BMW i5, the first 5 Series with a fully electric drive system, has undergone a series of grueling winter tests to prove the stability of its electric powertrain and dynamic performance qualities. The testing program on ice and snow lasted for a year and included a wide range of driving scenarios, from country roads to motorways and specially prepared test tracks. The main focus of the tests was on the car’s ability to drive at low temperatures and on surfaces that offer little grip.

Winter testing

BMW says that the electric drivetrain of the BMW i5 is optimized for traction, driving dynamics and stability. The electric sedan was tested in winter conditions, such as driving on a solid blanket of snow, icy mountain roads, or frozen lakes. The winter testing took place in the BMW Group’s winter test center at Arjeplog, northern Sweden. This is where the BMW i5 began its testing journey and where it ended it.

As part of the development process, the BMW i5 had to undergo a road trip from Munich to the BMW test center at Arjeplog, covering around 3,000 kilometers. Additional testing was conducted at other BMW Group test facilities and in everyday driving in and around Munich, as well as in the vicinity of BMW Group Plant Dingolfing. The second round of testing in Sweden was designed to fine-tune all powertrain and chassis control systems. The test areas sited on frozen lakes around Arjeplog were particularly well-suited for delicately adjusting the drive torque control system under precisely reproducible conditions.

Rumored i5 specs

Unfortunately, BMW has yet to reveal any of the i5’s specs, but here are some things we heard through the grapevine. BMW is set to introduce two introductory models of the i5 – the BMW i5 eDrive40 and i5 M60. While the i5 40 will be the smart choice when it comes to pricing, the BMW i5 M60 is the non-logical, yet more exciting option. The BMW i5 uses the BMW’s 5th Generation eDrive. In the case of the i4 eDrive40, it’s a 250 kW electric synchronous motor, so we expect a similar power output in the i5 eDrive40.

The BMW i5 M60 is anticipated to have a power and performance that is comparable to the iX M60. It is projected to generate nearly 600 horsepower on both axles and produce 811 pound-feet of torque. As the i5 M60 has a lower center of gravity and is substantially lighter than the iX crossover, it is expected to deliver driving dynamics that are similar to those of the popular i4 M50. The acceleration time from 0 to 60 mph is predicted to be around 3 seconds, which will make the i5 M60 one of the quickest BMWs available today.

We anticipate receiving further information about the upcoming BMW i5 sedan and the i5 Touring in the near future, so make sure to keep an eye out for exclusive content.