BMW i5/i7 On The Horizon – Concept Expected To Debut At 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show


BMW i8 Ordering Info

BMW i8 Ordering Info

It’s now believed that we’ll see BMW’s next plug-in i concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Rumored to be called either the i5 or i7, with target volumes in the tens of thousands of sales worldwide annually, this upcoming plug-in Bimmer will be loosely based off the long-wheelbase iteration of the next-generation BMW 5 Series.

We suspect the i5/i7 will launch in or around the 2018 timeframe at a price comparable to the Tesla Model S.

Unfortunately, rumor has it that BMW will forego the all-electric route in favor of a plug-in hybrid in the form of a range-extended electric car.

It seems that the i5/i7 will basically be a more electric i8 that’s capable of hauling entire families around.

According to CAR:

“While suspension, steering, brakes and the basic packaging will by and large be adopted from the G38 5-series, the drivetrain of i5/i7 has evidently been inspired by the i8. At a glance, the layout actually looks remarkably like an i8 with the combustion engine up front and the main e-motor in the back. Again, there is no mechanical connection between the front and rear wheels. Although it is labelled PHEV, this, too, is in fact an electric vehicle with a more powerful range extender (BEVX).”

BMW i8 Cutaway

BMW i8 Cutaway

Electric range is pegged at 80-ish miles, rather solid for a REx, but not competition for Tesla.

CAR adds:

“To underline its low-emission talents, i5/i7 boasts two e-motors, not only one like the i8. Depending on the driving situation and the momentary performance duties, it can be electric front-wheel drive, electric rear-wheel drive or petrol-electric all-wheel drive. While the i8 makes do with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder on steroids, the four-door sister model will likely feature a more relaxed and smoother running four-cylinder rated at around 245bhp.”

If these rumors turn out to be true, then we’ll be disappointed in BMW’s effort.  With 200-mile pure electric cars available today and more coming soon, there’s really no need to go the REx route, especially in such a high end car where battery costs can easily be recovered in purchase price.  We applaud the effort, but by 2018, cars such as the i5/i7 need to be pure electric, not overly complicated hybrids.

Source: CAR

Categories: BMW

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

22 Comments on "BMW i5/i7 On The Horizon – Concept Expected To Debut At 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show"

newest oldest most voted

If the i5/i7 has 80 miles AER it will fill an important gap in the line-up.

“no need to go the REx route”. I don’t think so. If BMW had a network, AND there were a 300-400 mile BEV coming out of their ovens…then, maybe an EREV would be a bad idea.

A PHEV can be driven a lot harder, incorporating its REx. More importantly, it can keep going, and going, on those limited occassions where you aren’t electric 95% of the time. This kind of PHEV has time before a battery, 3-4 times the size, is cheaper. The cost of at least a 150kw charging network, to merely triple the time filling with gasoline takes, is another bean counter bonus.

When I think of BMW’s 5-series customers, no way would they be up for “Bolt” batteries, and 50kw charge times. They already squeak out maximal miles from their ~22kwh i3. To put just a few more in a bigger car, w/REx, is a formula they’re going to have to handicap some other way.

Roll up windows, level 1 only, tri-tone, 8 track? They better get crackin’.

Here I thought Tesla S was 300 miles BEV….


That battery costs over $20k. A BMW drive train is probably closer to 10k. I am saying the cost gap is wider than implied, and it will likely take more time for profit seeking BMW to actually try and sell a full-on luxury BEV. An EREV might get a more credible push, i think.

Either way, kWh = cowbell and it’s going to be great to see consumers get it, over the next couple years.

Is Frank Weber still at BMW and is he involved in these decisions?

Way too much anti-PHEV opinion in this article. Anything with a plug is good in my books, and I thought that was InsideEVs’ approach too. I think a lot of your readers are more interested in PHEVs than pure EVs for a number of good reasons, no need for the author to take sides for an article like this.

A PHEV will not save the world since it has a tailpipe. BEV or bust!

Small steps, small steps. Gotta walk before you can run. PHEVs can eliminate more than half of automobile gas usage. They are the gateway drug to pure EVs.

Agreed! And a PHEV with 80 miles would be an EV the vast majority of the time! I think a great performing PHEV with 80 miles of range could certainly cut into Tesla sales as long as it looked cool and goes fast.

I am happy for any vehicle with a plug. BMW seems to be pushing plugs across their lineup. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few years.

Eric is that Frankfurt or Geneva?
Which one is correct?

Frankfurt is in September, Geneva next week

Frankfurt. Just fixed it.

80 miles ev range with a rex would be interesting for a lot of situations. Actually taking a series 5 size with an i3 system in it would be great, if they just increase the tank size and the battery to get 80 miles real life ev range. By 2018 they could have 150 or 200 miles ev range and shrink the size of the rex in half for a same or an increased power. That would not be pure electric but correspond to an important demand from actual customers. They can also add some sort of automatic charging.

And even with a very small REx that wouldn’t perform great (like in the i3), it is still very useful. I just wish the i3 REx didn’t cost $4K. Seems like a lot for a 2-cylinder motorcycle engine and a generator.

It doesn’t sound disappointing to me. If such a car were available and the performance on the electric motors was good, driving like an EREV with an 80 mile electric range, it would be something I think I would highly consider.

I think a PHEV with an 80 mile AER is OK, but not exactly a bleeding edge car for 2018. As a sub-brand, I would have thought that the i series should always have some advanced feature, be it carbon fiber or whatever.

But in 2018 carbon fiber will not be news. And an 80 mile AER range won’t be either, especially if it’s on the European cycle, which would mean a 50 mile AER, a Volt 2.0.

Nothing wrong with the Volt 2.0, but it would cost half or less from whatever BMW will want for an i5. That’s where the concept gets to be a little weak: A near-Volt performer for a seven series price.

If it has really 80 miles that is 60% more than the Volt 2. If it has a real seating for 3 in the back instead of the strange thing GM is coming up with in the Volt2, that is also a big difference. If it comes with a BMW stile quality and design, there you have the final price you pay for. So it would be worth it.

Obviously BMW will also have a 200 mile or whatever pure EV as well, building on the simple architecture of the i3 (or for that matter almost any BEV). That’s a separate car. Perhaps it’s a year behind, or not — depends on the availability of the sufficiently dense batteries for the space allocated.

I am glad to see some common sense in the comments section. There is absolutely nothing wrong with 80 miles electric range plus rex. I love Tesla, but honestly, there are limitations. For me 80 miles would be more than plenty. With those 5 times a year when I would use the rex, my fuel consumption would probably be 5-10% compared to what it is now. When I’ll be able to recharge 80% of the battery in 10 minutes and these superchargers are in front of every restaurant/fast food place in Europe (US) then there will be no need for a REX. When priced reasonably, i5/i7 will have a much bigger impact on overall fuel economy/polution than the Bolt.

A nominally “200 mile” EV, which means a range of about 150 real-world miles, won’t end the need for PHEVs. Only getting battery charge times down to 10 minutes or less is going to end the need for PHEVs.

Sorry to see the anti-PHEV slant in this article. PHEV buyers an BEV buyers both have the same goal: To use as little gasoline/ diesel as possible.

Hi, Boris! Honest, I wrote my comment -before- reading yours.

I expect the i5 with 200 miles range and Natural Gas (Catalytic conversion to H2) Fuel Cells ReX. ReX should be easy to remove by driver. Natural Gas canisters available everywhere! Dual motor synchronized (free patent from Tesla) electronically. Because BMW i5 is lighter than Tesla it will be 1st in acceleration – 2.8 second 0-60mph if those motors sync properly. 90 kW SAE charger would be super fast.