BMW i5 electric car spied

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BMW i5 will launch on the same CLAR platform as the i4 sedan.

BMW is well underway developing what amounts to the first all-electric 5 Series, the i5. The two cars have been seen testing on the Nurburgring in Germany and the i5 EV is expected to go on sale next year as a rival to the Mercedes EQE and the Tesla Model S.

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.

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We should see an entry-level i5 eDrive40 with a 80.7kWh battery and single rear-mounted motor producing around 250kW and 430Nm of torque. An M50 model is likely too, with roughly 350kW and 730Nm of torque. In the BMW i4 there’s a boost mode on the more powerful option that takes it up to 400kW 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 460kW and 1100Nm of torque. In the iX, this power allows for a 0-100km/h 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.

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As for range, the i4 has a claimed maximum 587km 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.

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Like the i4 and 4 Series, the design of the i5 should be too far removed from its internal-combustion engine 5 Series sibling. There’ll be a blanked-off grille at the front, a unique diffuser to the rear and potentially a new set of aerodynamically-efficient alloys to distinguish 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 sedan.

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