Electric BMW i5 Touring wagon confirmed

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BMW i5 wagon will be joined by 2023-bound sedan, with electric, ICE and plug-in hybrid variants available.

The much-touted BMW i5 Touring will arrive next year, the German firm has confirmed this morning, as the first all-electric wagon on the market.

Marking the fifth generation since the full-size estate was launched in 1991, the EV will be launched after the sedan BMW 5 Series and i5 variants, which will arrive in October this year in Europe, Korea and the US.

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The wagon, like its sedan siblings, will – along with a pure-electric powertrain – be launched with petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid variants, the latter coming for both bodystyles later in 2024.

“This is our unique selling point in this segment,” said BMW chairman Oliver Zipse during the car maker’s annual conference.

The sedan will also get a M Performance variant, in the vein of the BMW i4 M50, BMW confirmed, opening the door for a hotter Touring version too.

“The all-electric BMW i4 M50 shows how BMW blends dynamic performance and electric mobility to perfection,” said Zipse. “It was the best-selling BMW M model worldwide in 2022. A fully electric Performance model from BMW M will also be included in the new BMW 5 Series sedan line-up.”

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BMW confirmed more details would be released soon, but the new Touring is expected to be available with the usual levels of practicality we’ve come to expect from such a competitive market. While BMW did not comment on boot space and leg room, we suspect the new estate will improve slightly on the current car’s 560 litres (with the seats raised) and trump the 480 litres on offer in the Mercedes E-Class Estate.

BMW has still to confirm if the 5 Series Touring will share its underpinnings with other models – however, the current car shares the same CLAR architecture that underpins the new BMW 4 Series, so its larger sibling could offer a similar powertrain line-up if it uses the same platform.

As such, the standard i5 Touring could be offered in rear- and four-wheel-drive guise with outputs ranging from 250kW to 420kW, the latter essentially creating an all-electric BMW M5 Touring. If it follows the same nomenclature as the BMW i4, we expect e40 and M50 nameplates to be reprised for both the 5 Series sedan and Touring editions.

The i4 makes use of an 80.7kWh battery pack, charging at up to 210kW. This allows for a maximum official range of between 410km and 590km.

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Outside, photographs reveal an updated, sleeker headlight design and covered kidney grilles that don’t extend beyond the front numberplate (ie vertical), as on the current BMW M3 and 4 Series.

At the rear, the headlights retain BMW’s signature ‘L’ shape and the door handles are flush with the bodywork, as on the new BMW 2 Series. Joining these are BMW’s new-style door mirrors, as seen on the new BMW M240i.

Also recently captured by our photographers was the 5 Series sedan on test at the Nürburgring.

It will also feature a more sedate front-end layout with blanked-off kidney grilles for the electric i5 edition, leaving out BMW’s controversial ‘vertical’ kidney grilles for its huge-hitting family sedan.

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