New BMW i5 spotted as an all-electric estate
BMW will offer the upcoming i5 with practical ‘Touring’ bodystyle
The next-generation BMW 5 Series is set to receive the most radical update in its history with the introduction of a pure-electric i5 model. We’ve seen it testing before in saloon form but now we have confirmation it’ll be offered as an estate as well.
BMW is well underway with development of the first all-electric 5 Series with the i5 and we can expect a full reveal sometime in 2023. The saloon car will go up against the Mercedes EQE and Tesla Model S but the i5 Touring model will have very few competitors with the budget-focused MG5 EV and the much more premium Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo the only electric estates on sale.
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As we’ve seen before with the saloon, the i5 estate won’t differentiate too much from the combustion-engined 5 Series Touring. The blanked-off grille is a giveaway as to this test car’s powertrain, along with the ‘electrified vehicle’ stickers.
This test car still wears plenty of cladding but we can ascertain a few key design details already. The kidney grilles will be a little more restrained than those found in the i4 and there’s just a single headlight cluster, rather than a dual setup like on the new 7 Series and iX feature.
Down the side of the car we can see recessed door handles to help improve the aerodynamic drag coefficient and a new design of seven-spoke alloy wheel. On the rear pillar there’s a plate covering the area where BMW’s classic ‘Hofmeister kink’ design trait would be expected. Like the i4 the charging flap will be situated on the driver’s side rear three quarter panel. Aside from the extra mass of the estate at the rear it looks broadly similar to the saloon with the same rear lights.
The i5 will share the same modular CLAR underpinnings as the current combustion-engined 5 Series. We expect that the range of all-electric powertrains for the i5 will be similar to those offered in the i4 – which also uses the CLAR platform. The upcoming 5 Series, codenamed G60, will be one of BMW's final new models before the launch of its Neue Klasse-generation vehicles start to roll out from 2025, likely led by all-electric replacements for the 3 Series and the X5 SUV.
We should see an entry-level i5 eDrive40 with a 80.7kWh battery and single rear-mounted motor producing around 335bhp and 430Nm of torque. An M50 model is likely too, with roughly 469bhp and 730Nm of torque. In the i4 there’s a boost mode on the more powerful option that takes it up to 537bhp and 795Nm of torque for ten seconds and this may well carry over.
Above that, an M5-rivalling M60 variant could borrow the powertrain from the iX M60. This would be made up of a 105kWh battery with two electric motors, producing 611bhp and 1,100Nm of torque. In the iX, this power allows for a 0-62mph time of 3.8-seconds. The i5 will have much less weight to deal with so we expect a time closer to three seconds for the sprint.
As for range, the i4 has a claimed maximum 365-mile range and we could see something similar for the i5 despite its larger size, depending on what improvements to battery efficiency BMW has made since the i4’s introduction.
BMW’s new iX is capable of 195kW rapid charging so the i5 should at least offer this speed of charging. This could mean 10-80 per cent of its battery will be recharged in 39 minutes. Like BMW’s other electric cars, an 11kWh onboard charger should also feature on the i5.
The BMW Group has already confirmed that it’ll launch 25 new electrified models across its range of brands – and roughly half of those cars will ditch combustion power. We’ve already seen the iX1 join the X1 this year and the new electric i7 join the flagship 7 Series saloon.
Now read our review of the all-electric BMW i7…
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