Inside Source Reveals BMW i5 is in Discussion Phase

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 15

BMW i3 Seeks Bigger Brother - i5

BMW i3 Seeks Bigger Brother – i5

First came the BMW i3.

BMW i8's Little Cousin Could be the i5

BMW i8’s Little Cousin Could be the i5

Then the BMW i8.

Could the next i be the BMW i5?

What Car? seems to think so and here’s why:

“A senior BMW source has told What Car? that the critical success being enjoyed by the Tesla Model S, particularly in the United States, has already convinced many within the i project that there is potential for a model larger than the i3. He also revealed that the company is still deciding whether the new car – likely to be called i5 – would be some sort of crossover with a raised seating position or a conventional saloon.”

Apparently, intense discussions are already underway on the next BMW i.  As What Car? quoted the insider:

“We are having these discussions right now and no decision has been taken. In fact, there’s still not an absolute decision that the car, if it is called i5, should even happen. Many, including myself, believe that there is potential. Then if we decide the car should happen, we need to decide if it is a regular sedan or something where the passengers are sitting slightly higher up.”

‘Then after that we need to decide whether a car of this size can be a fully electric edition, like the i3, or whether it needs to be a range-extender – or perhaps even a plug-in hybrid. That could ultimately be the best solution for that model; we don’t know yet.”

A lot of details remain to be ironed out, but word leaking out that BMW is at least considering an i5 is music to our ears.

i3 Concept Coupe - We Says it's Production-Bound For Sure

i3 Concept Coupe – We Says it’s Production-Bound For Sure

The source further told this to What Car?:

“Regardless of how it is powered, the new car will stick to the BMW i brand values – so it will be rear-wheel drive and make extensive use of carbonfibre and CFRP (carbonfibre-reinforced plastic) in its construction. ‘I think those things are pretty much guaranteed.”

If an i5 does come out, we wouldn’t expect to see it at least until Tesla nears its 2017-ish launch of its Gen III (aka Model E).

Before the i5, we predict BMW will put the i3 Concept Coupe into production, either as the i2 or the i4.

If all this holds true, then by 2017 BMW could feasibly have an i3, i2 or i4, i5 and i8.  Lots of “i”s to dot there.

Source: What Car?

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15 responses to "Inside Source Reveals BMW i5 is in Discussion Phase"

  1. Warren says:

    Amazing. BMW is thinking of coming out with an electric SUV that is more expensive, and will be less efficient than the i3, just like Tesla. But it will be made out of carbon fiber, and hand rubbed hemp, so it’s OK. Reminds me of the ads that say, “Eat all the cake you want, and still loss weight.”

    1. Peder says:

      I think using CFRP is exactly like eating the cake you want and loosing weight. It’s the definitive advantage and the breakthrough that will serve to BMW’s advantage for over a decade. Then the rest of the OEM’s including Tesla, will catch up.

      Cheers!

      1. Warren says:

        Big, inefficient cars are a problem, no matter what they run on. Making them slightly lighter with exotic materials may help your conscience, if you don’t think too hard.

        1. Steve T says:

          Maybe we are all going to hell for just driving cars, huh? Let’s try not to judge others’ needs for a larger or a smaller car. Take a chill pill.

          1. Ben says:

            agreed, some people have large families and need larger cars

      2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        Well, although Tesla isn’t as heavily into carbon fiber they are very heavily into use of aluminum, so their disadvantage might not be as great as other manufacturers.

    2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      And walking or riding a bicycle is more efficient than an i3.

      In the real world people buy CUVs, SUVs, MPVs, compacts and mid-size cars because they have families or just prefer them. If we keep substituting with improved efficiency than the world’s future becomes more efficient.

      BMW’s heavy investment in carbon fiber for weight reduction is great to see, because weight is a huge issue for all cars.

  2. GeorgeS says:

    While Tesla probably doesn’t have to worry about GM.
    They might need to worry about BMW.
    I’d want the i5 to be all electric and carbon fiber of course.
    Slightly smaller than the Tesla S. with all the performance (or more) since it would be lighter.

    1. pjwood says:

      The goalie has been pulled, for a series EREV, or REX equiped CUV. Tesla needs BMW, and we all have yet to find out if EREV/REX penetration leaves BEV behind, or not. Nobody knows.

  3. Delta says:

    So BMW says it will take 5years for them to have a car that competes with a 2014 Tesla. That is actually a stunning admission that they.are very worried.

  4. Priusmaniac says:

    For one, I have a very clear view of a BMW i5. It would be a conventional sedan with standard doors and the same system as the i3 but with a larger gasoline tank of 10 gallons instead of 2 gallons.
    Perhaps I would also make a Touring version available and consider a more compact AVL Wankel generator.
    I would equip it with a Park & forget system either contact based or induction based.
    Last, I would provide some flexibility by giving different choices for the battery energy, the motor power and the Rex power.
    Last but not least, provide the possibility not to have wood and not to have leather since there are people around, me included, that don’t like that.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      The i5 isn’t going to be high end, so at the relatively low volumes you’ll not see many options. One choice, something more EREV than BEVx.

  5. Blind Guy says:

    My version: CUV w/ CFRP, batteries under floor, seating that you can easily slide in & out of, LEDs, 70 mile AER, 1 motor FW 1 motorRW for AWD, series RX powerful & quiet enough for out-of-town trips, fuel tank large enough for 350 total combined range, 4 heated seats & air vents for each passenger, 360 degree camera views, safety; car won’t move until all doors, hatch are closed and last have 3 versions 1. Most affordable 2. Nice but modest 3. Wow, I’m impressed!
    Plenty of head, leg and cargo room! Until batteries are greatly improved I think many people don’t want to have to rely on charging convenience for out-of-town trips. JMO
    With a 6.6 kwh charging ability; you can easily charge over-night and have 70 mile AER to take care of approx.. 90% of people’s daily driving needs. ASAP 

  6. Spec9 says:

    Third time is the charm?

    i8 = extremely expensive niche Halo car.

    i3 = interesting but funny looking high-priced 4-seat econobox

  7. ModernMarvelFan says:

    When is the “M version” of the i3 and i8 coming out? =)