Rumormill: BMW i5/i7 To Target Tesla Directly – Nope

FEB 24 2015 BY STAFF 59

Tesla Model S & BMW i8 Are Both Amazing Plug-In Cars, But Entirely Different Machines

Tesla Model S & BMW i8 Are Both Amazing Plug-In Cars, But Entirely Different Machines

The rumormill churns out new info on the BMW i5. The long-time rumored midsize electric car has been mentioned before in the same sentence with the Tesla’s Model S, but has gone from an electric car to a hydrogen-based drivetrain several times.

Now, according to CAR, the i5 or i7, whichever name BMW will settle on, would arrive in 2018 and it’s known internally as the F18 PHEV project.

It’s based around the long-wheelbase four-door 5 Series architecture designed for China; the stretched platform helping accommodate the bulky batteries required for these vehicles, as well as liberating extra space for bodies. The suspension, steering, brakes and the basic packaging is said to be imported from the upcoming G31 5 Series, while the drivetrain of i5/i7 has evidently been inspired by the i8.

*Editor’s Note: This post appears on BMWBLOG.  Check it out here.

The layout actually is allegedly like an i8 with the combustion engine up front and the main e-motor in the back. Although it is labelled PHEV, is in fact a REx. The i5/i7 boasts two e-motors. 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.

The front electric motor develops 204 hp, while the motor in the back is good for 95bhp, sources say. This brings the aggregate target output to 400kW or 544 hp.

CAR’s sources mention 80 miles electric range, which would make this the highest electric range PHEV ever manufactured.

The design has not been finalized and the design team seem to favor a mix of current 6 Series Gran Coupe and the new 7 Series.

If 2018 is the target launch date, we believe a concept could appear as early as next year.

*Editor’s Note: Confused?  Yeah, so are we.  It seems CAR is taking some guesses and the end result is a vehicle that is far too complex and in no way competes with a Tesla Model S.  Gas engine = Not a Tesla competitor.

Categories: BMW, Tesla

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59 Comments on "Rumormill: BMW i5/i7 To Target Tesla Directly – Nope"

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The author is a hobbyist whistling past Tesla’s graveyard. Do you really think the vast majority of potential buyers won’t be happy with 80 miles of electric range if the car also has 400+ miles of overall range and the ability to refuel it in five minutes at almost any busy intersection in America?

It’s hilarious how you talk about this car being “far too complex” when it will probably weigh 800 fewer pounds than an S85D, and when those “simple” Tesla drivetrains have had to be replaced in MASSIVE numbers relative to the number sold.

False rumour mill yourself. You’re confusing “complex” with “heavy” (on purpose?)
You’re confusing “drivetrain” with “motor”
and you’re confusing “massive numbers” with “some of the firsts series” and also “adding a 50¢ chime to the motor”.

Whoa! An article supposedly about a rumored-i5/i7 from BMW ( InsideEvs has become an offshoot of BMWBlog, apparently ) has become a Volt vs. Tesla battlefield! Strange how one dumb, unfounded garbage troll comment can steer a whole post into a war…

On the topic at hand, not too thrilling at all to see these, “What if – could they? – Will they? – Somebody drew a rendering…” articles about some vaporware. This stuff is the filler that auto magazines put in their front pages between the girly ads for headers and mufflers and the Letters To The Editor page.

Please save your Tesla trolling for SeekingAlpha or elsewhere.

Mass does not necessarily equal complexity. I’m assuming you have no automotive experience because if you did you would know that all vehicles have quality issues and Tesla’s problems probably aren’t that worse off from the Volt or i3.

The Model S is a reliability DISASTER compared to the Volt– you can find that all over the forums, including the latest very serious software glitch with the “D” that’s apparently causing it to randomly shut down on the highway. And what’s wrong with so-called complexity if it’s a lot more reliable than what you call “simplicity” and weighs 800 fewer pounds (for better handling, braking, energy efficiency and tire wear)?

The Model S is a competitively priced high performance large sedan. The Volt is an overpriced low performance subcompact.

Anyone can get good reliability by playing it safe.

“The Model S is a competitively priced high performance large sedan. The Volt is an overpriced low performance subcompact.”

Volt is NOT subcompact and its performance is comparable to its class.

Therefore, based on what you posted, I conclude that you are a Volt hater who doesn’t know anything…

It’s fair to say comparable to its class, the Volt is overpriced. Comparable to its class, the Model S is competitively priced.

If by “class” you mean 0-60 mph, then I guess you are right. Most people, however, embrace other characteristics.

“It’s fair to say comparable to its class, the Volt is overpriced.”

With or without tax incentives?

Without tax incentives, it is arguable.

With tax incentives, it is NOT. After tax incentives, it is within $2K of a similar equipped Chevy Cruze while it has similar performance while providing a much better/quieter rides. It has more high tech features and better seats. So, that $2K premium is no longer an overpriced factor since luxury and quieter rides always asked for price premium.

You would only think it is overprice when you don’t know what you are comparing to.

Sorry, it’s a compact, not a subcompact. But it still only seats 4.

But when it comes to reliability, it’s far harder to succeed with performance cars, especially when they’re large.

I’m not a Volt hater by any means. But it’s still overpriced. Pre-incentive MSRP should be only $5-7k higher than a Cruze.

“Sorry, it’s a compact, not a subcompact. But it still only seats 4.” So, plenty of larger cars seat only 4. Even BMW 650i 4 door only comes with 4 seat. Even Tesla is now offering an executive version that seats 4 ONLY. People who stuck on that seating position is intenting to bash the Volt. “But when it comes to reliability, it’s far harder to succeed with performance cars, especially when they’re large.” Completely baseless BS. Go and ask Lexus LS-series buyers to see if that is the case. Also, since everyone claims that EVs are so simple and reliable, then it should be a no brainer for the superior blockdiagram of the EVs to excel. Quality doesn’t come from a type of design, it comes from the design and company culture… “I’m not a Volt hater by any means. But it’s still overpriced. Pre-incentive MSRP should be only $5-7k higher than a Cruze.” Is LEAF overpriced as well? Since it cost $12K more than Versa and has about the same size and interior space? Is base Model S60 overpriced? Since it cost $10K more than an Audi A7 pre-incentive while it has about the same performance. The base… Read more »

Two second Google search:!&s=d02ffe14bc0c3bf6182f8066fa2cb196

Would you like me to find more examples? Provide actual IPTV values or average warranty costs per vehicle at xx miles or you argument has no value. Highlighting a few problems on the internet gives very little insight to what is actually happening at the OEM.

Hey look… Same “source” also says Telsa Model S is THE top vehicle in their Top 10 pick, based on above average reliability, etc., etc.

Who you gonna believe? Consumer reports, or Consumer Reports? 😉

Top picks involves MORE than reliability rating.

It is an overall rating.

But Models S is rated just “average” in reliability alone.

The facts are facts, the confusion just shows how stupid people are and how easily they are confused with various consumer report ratings…

Since you are a long time commenter on inside ev who frequently likes to bash GM and favor Tesla, I would sure hoped you had at least read inside ev’s own coverage on the topic… But I guessed wrong and assumed that haters have too much logic reasoning capabilities…

I don’t bash GM, I simply remind folks of their dark corporate history in a decade + long coverup up, where they knowingly were murdering at least 53 of their unsuspecting customers, via internally known design flaws. Theyy also lied to the US Government and their customers.

The families of the deceased, don’t mind.

As for your comments regarding Tesla and Consumer Reports, there is a years difference between the two articles published.

Knowing that the Model S gets constant physical updates as well to improve reliability, it seems the data you’re sticking with– is outdated. Model S reliability has increased with time. That is a fact.

“Model S reliability has increased with time. That is a fact.”

Still rated by Consumer Report as “average” by the latest ranking in Consumer Report that still rates the Model S best overall…

The key is that supporters like you keep missing the fact that overall best doesn’t require it to be better than average in reliability.

I don’t bash GM, I simply remind readers that GM has a dark corporate history of lying and covering up their deadly design flaws. If they haven’t killed at least 53 innocent customers over “Key Gate”, please let me know the errors of my ways, and I’ll retract my statements.

As for Tesla, the Model S continues to evolve while in production. The several thousand changes since introduction, have improved reliability over time. Please check the dates between your first article citation (2014 vs 2015), and the current winner of Consumer Reports Top Ten Pick: is not surprisingly, a Model S.

Reliability has only improved over time. That’s a fact. Please update your mindset.

“I don’t bash GM”

Completely BS. Anyone who has read enough of your junks can clearly see your repeated patterns of bashing anything GM makes…

It is both tiresome and pointless with your repeated effort…

Well Mark, your a legend in your own mind.

Everything you write here is only to advance your short position on Tesla at your hedge fund which in and of itself is nothing more then voodoo capitalism at its worst.

Everything you write is easily repudiated by the facts. For instance, if Tesla’s were so unreliable then why would they consistently be rated the best car ever made by both automotive professionals and their owners?

Your slanted opinions are circling the bowl Mark!

“The Model S is a reliability DISASTER compared to the Volt”

That is NOT true.

They are both ranked “AVERAGE” by Consumer Reports in their reliability survey.

So, Model S is NOT diaster compared to the Volt. They are the “same”.

That is NOT a reliability rating.

That is an overall rating which is heavily influenced by driving dynamic.

Consumer Report rated the reliability of the MOdel S as average.

So, being a Volt hater doesn’t make you an expert on Consumer Report rating..

Don’t you know how to read?

Even insideev covered the same story on Model S reliability…

Best overall only requires an “average” reliability rating.

It is NOT bad, but its “reliability” is only average.

Overall, it is awesome car.

OMG, a Wall Street “Hedge-Tard”. 😛

This is a 2018 car and you’re harping Tesla’s drivetrain issues from cars produced in 2013? Please.

BMW’s 35hp REx weighs 300 lbs without any transmission. What do you think a 200 hp REx w/transmission is going to weigh?

PHEVs don’t save weight. The A3 eTron weighs 700 lbs more than the A3 Sportback, and it only has a 30-mile range.

“BMW’s 35hp REx weighs 300 lbs without any transmission. What do you think a 200 hp REx w/transmission is going to weigh?”

Certainly less than 1,000lbs battery pack.

The i5/i7 isn’t going to lack a battery pack, genius.

Smart pants, I sure hope you can tell the difference between a 10KWh battery pack and a 85kWh battery pack…

LOL the i5/i7 isn’t going to travel 80 miles on 10 kWh.

In case you didn’t get it yet, the mass difference between a Tesla pack and i5/i7 pack is NOT going to be 1000 lbs, and both the engine and transmission will weigh a lot too.

Maybe NOT 80 miles, but if it is similar weight as i3 and i8, then a 20kWh battery pack is more than enough.

If you follow the same REx size as i3, then it will still be lighter than 1,000lbs battery alone.

As far as transmission goes, REx on the i3 doesn’t need transmission.

A single E-CVT is almost as light as a fixed ratio gearbox on the Model S…

“PHEVs don’t save weight. The A3 eTron weighs 700 lbs more than the A3 Sportback, and it only has a 30-mile range.”

Sure, comparing to a 0 miles ICE car, PHEV weighs more. But if there is a 400 miles BEV version of the same car, I am pretty sure the 30 mile PHEV would weigh less with today’s battery technology.

And what do you think Mark is comparing to when he says the i5/i7 will weigh 800 lbs less? An M3 weighs ~4300 lbs, while a 750i is 4600 lbs, and neither have any battery pack or electric motors.

BMW is not going to magically create a 544-hp, 80-mile PHEV without adding weight.

Of course it is going to add weight over comparable ICE unless it is going to CRFP like the rest of the i-series…

But it sure beats a 1,000lbs battery pack.

A 80 mile PHEV (20kWh+ battery pack, ~250kW battery pack) with 200 hp REx vs a 1000 lb battery?

I wouldn’t be so sure the 1000 lb battery pack will lose. The i3 battery pack (130kW) already weighs 500 lbs, 38hp REx 300 lbs.

Well, you already did the math for me…

1,000 lbs is more than 500lbs + 300lbs.

So, 1,000lbs lose in this case as far as weight goes.

Of course there are other advantages, but the original whining point was weight and weight alone.

Sniff…sniff….smells like desperation

So, a car introduced in 2018 may have some advantages over one introduced in 2012.

This is a surprise?

Fact is we don’t know what BMW will introduce in 2018, or Tesla for that matter. The rest is fiction and speculation. Fun to do, but not fun to take seriously.

“The Model S is a reliability DISASTER compared to the Volt”

This tells me all I need to know. Looks like you’ve missed the relevant info that’s out there on Tesla’s reliability. Did you research this before posting?

Model S is NOT worse.

Model S is the same as Volt in Consumer Report’s reliability survey, both are rated “average”.

“known internally as the F18 PHEV project.” This one calls for some serious Photo Shop.

this will sell less than the BMW 6 and 7 series – which combined sold less than the Model S last year and the year before.
So if the ICE powered BMWs can’t compete with Tesla, what makes anyone think a PHEV has a better chance.

I think this is great. And despite what others say, I suspect a great PHEV can compete directly with Tesla. I’m not sure that any exist at the moment, but not to say that it can’t happen. In order to compete directly with the Model-S they’d need to build a 4-door luxury car that seats at least 5 comfortably (so the BMW i8 is off the list). It would need to be an attractive body style. It would need to have at least 80 miles of all electric range, preferably 100 or more. And it would need 0-60 times that are at least competitive with the 60Kwh Model-S. And if they could produce that with a price edge over the Model-S, which I suspect they could do, then I bet they could steal some sales from Tesla.

The real question is, will they be stealing from Tesla sales or stealing from 5 series sales?

They clearly designed and marketed the i3 to not compete with the 3 series. I can’t wait to see what they come out with. 2018 seems very far away right now.

Excellent point! All the legacy ICE manufacturers are heavily conflicted in electrification because it threatens their ICE cash cows and especially their Stealerships. So electrification completely upends the business model of the legacy ICE manufacturers.

Some people still don’t understand that maybe THE most appealing feature of a Tesla is its decent electric range and the joy of never having to go to the gas station again.

And some people still don’t understand that Tesla’s range is still not as practical and convenient as a gas powered range extender and a whole nation full of gas stations on every corner.

You didn’t quite finish the sentence. Let me help. “..a whole nation with gas stations on every corner where you can stop and put 50$ worth of gas in your ICE every 2 weeks.”
I can purchase enough solar capacity to offset my annual driving with about 2 years worth of gas purchases (not counting incentives). The remaining 18 or so years of the system’s life is gravy.

Thanks, Grumpy. I was just thinking how “convenient” it was to stand outside at a slow pump (second time, in one week) and put $50 in the SUV. The snow has the roads so messed up, up here.

I have no problem supporting BEV, but believe there’s no way electrification gets the traction it needs without EREV. That includes Bolt batteries, and 100kwh Teslas.

With 80 miles range, you’d only have to go to a gas station on ling trips (and how many of those do most people do per year?). In that case, I reckon it’d be an advantage to the BMW, because you would not have to do any planning or detours to find a charging station. Plus refilling will still be much faster.

I don’t like burning gas in my Volt, but I must say that the engine works really well on the highway, at constant speed, when it just hums along and is not noticeable at all.

I would not necessarily call 80 range just for long trips. I live in a rural area and sometimes would like to drive to a larger city with some places like Best Buy to shop at once in a while. I would generally do this at least once a month. The nearest such city is 60 miles away. This would not be an issue if there was any EV charging there whatsoever and could charge while shopping,but there isn’t. If I currently want to make this trip in an electric vehicle with the current infrastructure there, I would have to have a PHEV or a Tesla that I cannot afford.

I understand your point of view and I certainly regret there wasn’t a Model S 40 KWh at 50000 $ that would have had a small Rex to go further on longer trips than 100 miles. Whatever that rex would have been, perhaps a consumable single use aluminum air battery a BMW type engine, an Audi A1 e-tron wankel, a direct free piston engine.
On the question of a Rex Elon Musk usually say that you split the baby but in essence you would actually have allowed a lot more ev mode global miles since almost everyone would have been able to switch to electric+rex by now. So if BMW finally get over the fact that will indeed bite into their standard series 5 model, but still put the i5 on the market, that would be a good news for the global transition from fossil based propulsion to electric based propulsion. Sometime the best is the enemy of the good. In the case of electric cars 100 % electric for the happy 1% is not especially the best case scenario compared to electric cars 90 % electric for 99 % of the many.

Again, a trip like you describe is likely to have higher speed, unimpeded sections, where a gas engine works really well. With a little bit of software and a trip planner, it could even be activated automatically so that the battery is saved for back roads, suburban or urban areas. It’s a compromise, but the upside is greater flexibility. To each their own, but IMO, touting the inherent superiority of BEV tech (at this stage of development) is just a matter of point of view and personal circumstances.

Uh, before people continue to argue… What kind of car is this, drivetrain-wise?

They say “Although it is labelled PHEV, is in fact a REx” which would seem to imply the petrol engine is only used to charge the battery (call it a series hybrid if you want).
OTOH, two sentences later it says “it can be electric front-wheel drive, electric rear-wheel drive or petrol-electric all-wheel drive”.
And in addition, “The front electric motor develops 204 hp, while the motor in the back is good for 95bhp, sources say. This brings the aggregate target output to 400kW or 544 hp” — if the petrol engine is only a REx, total output should be ~300bhp, not 544″

So which is it? Whoever wrote this doesn’t seem to have any handle on what they were told.

(And I know this is a reprint from another blog. When it doesn’t make sense, I expect it to be pointed out by InsideEV’s editors.)


Who cares. Either way, this thing, whatever they will call it will cost probably more than a base model “P85”.

Indeed BMW is probably not the best company to come along with an affordable BEV+Rex car.
I profoundly regret that Toyota is not doing that since they already made the Prius step in its time and that they clearly posses a super compact and efficient direct free piston generator that could be integrated as a rex in a Panasonic battery equipped Camry type vehicle.
This is especially sad since Toyota is in more adding insult to injury by doing a kind of Hara-Kiri with their fool cell Mirai.