BMW i5 Plug-In Hybrid On Track For 2018 Photo:
2014_bmw_5_series_gt_edrive_prototype_01 Photo: tmr
2014_bmw_5_series_gt_edrive_prototype_04 Photo: tmr
2014_bmw_5_series_gt_edrive_prototype_05 Photo: tmr
2014_bmw_5_series_gt_edrive_prototype_03 Photo: tmr
2014_bmw_5_series_gt_edrive_prototype_02 Photo: tmr
Trevor Collett | Apr, 14 2015 | 0 Comments

The next model from BMW’s i division could be with us by 2018, and it will be based on China’s version of the 5 Series sedan.

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.

Like the existing i3 and i8 models from the i family, the i5 is said to utilise both petrol and electric engines as a plug-in hybrid and may offer an all-electric version.

BMW’s 5 Series GT eDrive PHEV prototype, unveiled late last year, could potentially preview at least one powertrain option for the i5.

BMW i3
BMW i3

Available power could be as high as 500kW, which would dwarf both the ‘regular’ M5 at 423kW and the M5 30 Jahre special edition at 441kW.

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.

MORE: BMW i3 Now Available On Amazon In Japan
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BMW | PHEV | 5 Series

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