BMW is expanding its 5 Series model line-up in the U.S. with a new plug-in hybrid variant and a new i5 trim. Additionally for 2024, BMW is also adding Level 2 driver assistance capability to some existing U.S. models.
Currently, there are two variants of the BMW i5 available to order in the U.S.: the rear-wheel-drive i5 eDrive40 with 335 horsepower and a starting price of $66,800 (excluding delivery fees), and the mighty i5 M60 with 593 hp and an MSRP of $84,100.
The U.S.-bound xDrive40 will slot between the two trims mentioned above. It comes with dual-motor all-wheel drive, with a total system output of 389 hp and 435 pound-foot of torque. BMW says the i5 xDrive40 will sprint from 0-60 miles per hour in 5.2 seconds, 0.5 seconds faster than the RWD model, but slower than the ferocious M60 which does the job in a neck-snapping 3.7 seconds.
Enabling this raw performance is a battery with 84.3 usable kilowatt-hours, which delivers an EPA-estimated range of 295 miles on the eDrive40 and 256 miles on the M60. Expect the incoming xDrive40’s range to be somewhere in between those two figures.
The i5 supports 11-kilowatt AC charging, and up to 205 kW of DC fast charging, the latter enabling 10-80% state of charge (SoC) in under 30 minutes, provided there’s a functional and fast enough charger around. As with pretty much every other carmaker in the U.S., BMW will also adopt Tesla’s NACS connector, so i5 owners should have more charging options in 2025.
Moving on, BMW has also confirmed the stateside arrival of the 550e xDrive plug-in hybrid. The PHEV launched in Germany in September 2023, alongside the 530e which the U.S. won’t get. The 550e is powered by a 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine mated to a 197-hp electric motor. Combined system output is 483 hp and 516 lb-ft.
Its 19-kWh battery allows an all-electric range of up to 55 miles on the European WLTP cycle. Expect the EPA figure to be lower than the optimistic WLTP number.
BMW will also add Highway Assistant to its $2,500 Driving Assistance Professional Package. It will allow hands-free driving with supervision at speeds up to 85 mph. It will also enable active lane change with eye activation where the car can suggest a lane change, and the driver can confirm simply by looking in the outside rearview mirror. However, this feature will only be available for certain models produced from March 2024 onwards, and that includes the i5.
The production of the 2025 BMW i5 xDrive40 will begin in March 2024 at BMW Group Plant Dingolfling in Germany. The model will cost $71,095 in the U.S., including delivery and handling fees. The production of the 550e PHEV will begin in July 2024, and pricing and additional details will follow at a later date.