That’s the word from German mag Autobild, which reports a model dubbed ‘BMW i5’ will be a sedan with a longer wheelbase than the ‘standard’ 5 Series, as preferred by the Chinese market.
BMW’s 5 Series GT eDrive PHEV prototype, unveiled late last year, could potentially preview at least one powertrain option for the i5.
A 2.0 litre TwinPower four-cylinder petrol engine is matched with a pair of electric motors (one each, front and rear) in the GT PHEV, to produce the 500kW peak and a sizable 1017Nm of torque.
The GT PHEV uses a new 20kWh battery pack which offers around 100km of electric-only range, and BMW’s confidence in the new system has prompted a much smaller fuel tank for the prototype - 30 litres instead of 70.
Further reports have suggested the i5 will be rushed into production to compete with the Tesla Model S, while others predict the i5 won’t be ready until at least 2020.
Autobild predicts an arrival date for the i5 in around 2018, however, with a price for BMW’s home market in Germany of around €100,000 (AU$139,000).
BMW’s next move in its growing army of ‘greener’ models is the X5 xDrive40e; due to launch overseas soon and on the radar for BMW Australia for a late 2015 or early 2016 launch.