This is the third model in the ‘I’ range which is BMW’s green set of cars. It has been hinted that the i5 will fit in above the i3, which is the entry model car. This will be an electric car which is family friendly, having room for five passengers worth front hinged rear doors to make it easy for the rear passengers to get in and out of it.
It is thought that there will be a lot of the same hardware as the i3 in this new model but it will look quite different. It will probably be more conventional than the i3 though.
The CEO of BMW, Norbert Reithofer wants to expand the range of ‘i’ vehicles as he is a visionary for leading his company into the electric age. The i3 is a city car and the i8 is high priced but the i5 is likely to appeal to a lot more people.
The i5 will use economies of scale to bring a lot of prices down especially things such as the electric modules and batteries. It also has carbon fibre trims which will help to get the weight down. It will be sold in all of the main global markets and the price will compete with the Tesia Model S which it aims to be better than with regards to assistance systems, telematics, finish and fit.
There will be quite a few components shared with the i3. The electronic architecture will mean that it can have the newest driver assistance technology and infotainment system. The interior will allow five people to travel very comfortably but also be flexible with a lot of space for luggage on top. There will also be room for a bigger lithium ion battery pack than is in the i3 which will mean that it could even have a range of up to 200 miles on the electric power.
The power for the i5 will be from the permanent magnet AC synchronous electric motor. This is expected to be 170hp and will power the rear axle using a single transmission speed. It will be offered with an optional range extender which could be a 1.5 litre three cylinder. The battery pack would be positioned in the centre of the car.
It is expected that the i5 will be launch in 2016 as a 2017 model and will cosy around the $50k mark with extra options bringing it to $60k.