Should we get excited about BMW’s all-electric 5 Series?
Of course, it’s no surprise that the upcoming 5 Series will get an all-electric version when BMW unveils the next generation in 2023. BMW already revealed plans about an i5 last time the IAA was held in Frankfurt.
In the wake of the new IAA, in BMW’s hometown of Münich, the German news site Focus Online has come up with new details about BMW’s rival for the Tesla Model S – after seeing the Mercedes EQE taking the stage, and BMW clinging to a very visionary stance at the motor show, somebody thought that it was a good idea to slip some future product info onto the web. This is what we know.
Think of the i5 as a bigger i4. Just as the latter is an electric sidestep to the regular 4 Series, with more or less the same bodywork, it won’t be any different for the next 5, dubbed G60.
The i5 won’t be dedicated; instead, it will sit on the second generation of the Cluster Architecture Platform (CLAR), an evolution of the current underpinnings of the 5 Series, alongside sister models with traditional and PHEV powertrains. From the start, that architecture has been developed for a complete array of drivetrains, from ICE to BEV. But using it all-electric on the 5 Series will be a first.
Note that the rivals from Audi (A6 e-tron) and Mercedes (EQE) use their own dedicated architecture.
i5 M is coming
In most respects, the i5 treads in the footsteps of the ix3, i4, and iX-models, which are all based around the same technology, the fifth generation of eDrive. Specific details about battery capacity, range, or charging remain unknown.
Still, the similarities across the i range make it feasible that some of the i5 models will aim for an autonomy of 500 kilometers and more. Obviously, there will be an option of four-wheel drive by adding an extra electric motor in the front.
Furthermore, Focus Online states that the most powerful version of the new 5 Series will be all-electric. The top-of-the-range i5 M is expected to develop more than 700 bhp, or 100 bhp more than currently found in the M5. For the interior, a dashboard very similar to the i4 is expected. In the absence of physical buttons, a long curved display integrates the main clusters and the infotainment system.
One last go
CEO of BMW, Oliver Zipse, announced earlier that the all-electric version of the 5 Series would be built in Dingolfing, alongside the other engine types. In the plant resides an E-Powertrain Competence Centre, which can manufacture batteries, assemble them and build electric motors. Production in China for the local market is under review.
Road-testing of the G60 generation of the BMW 5 has already started. Market launch is planned for 2024. BMW has not set a date for phasing out the combustion engine, but it considers that the deadline might fall sooner than expected. Therefore, it wants an electric version of every model in the line-up. Chances are very real that the 5 Series G60 will be the last generation on fossil fuels.