BMW i5 to stand up to the Tesla Model S in Europe

In just a few months, the i5 will finally roll on the roads, but until then the electric sedan is completing a demanding development and tuning schedule.

BMW has before it an easy job. The Germans have extensive experience in the field of electrification, but they know that they have to continue demonstrating that, today, they are practically the only ones to stand up to the almighty Tesla. The next few years are key in this game of strategies and the BMW i5 will play a fundamental role in the range. His new photos barely reveal what the final design will look like, but they do show that development is nearing completion.

It was almost a year ago when we first discovered the i5 in its early testing phases. At that time, many were unknown data and, little by little, throughout this year, interesting details have been revealed about what the average electric saloon of the house will be like. BMW has high hopes for it. They aspire to conquer an electricity market share of 15% by the end of this year and reach 80% by the end of the decade. For now, sales are in line with forecasts, but more models are needed to reach the expected volume.

The i5 will not be the first to employ the highly anticipated Neue Klasse platform. That privilege will correspond to the BMW i3 in saloon format that will be released in 2025. However, expectations regarding the i5 should not be lowered because the data shows that it will be one of the most cutting-edge electric cars on the market. The modified CLAR platform will allow it to incorporate a large lithium-ion battery pack with which it will be able to offer up to 600 kilometers of electric range. A range that compares to its two main rivals, the Tesla Model S and the Mercedes EQE.

Following the same philosophy as with the BMW i4, the designers present us with a fairly conservative aesthetic. Away from the extravagance of the BMW iX, those from Munich know that this will be a volume car and that they cannot risk the presentation. There will be no vertical kidneys, although the format will be larger than what we can currently see in the BMW 5 Series. The thermal and electric versions will be practically identical except for small details. There will also be no split headlights as on the BMW i7 and BMW X7.

BMW i5

Despite the aesthetic conservatism, BMW will offer different versions of its electric powertrain. Units with one or two engines will divert all the power to the rear axle or distribute it between the four wheels. As we learned a long time ago, the most extreme version will carry the name of BMW i5 M60 and it is expected that it will share part of its development with the corresponding version of the iX. If this fact is confirmed, we are talking about a power of more than 600 CV with two electric motors installed, one for each axis.

The photos revealed by BMW show that the launch is practically imminent. The i5 continues to burn stages in its development phase, although it will not be until the end of the year or the beginning of next year when it lands in dealerships. Taking into account the already mentioned rivals, we can estimate a starting price of close to 75,000 euros, being able to overcome the barrier of 100,000 in the most complete and powerful versions. A short time later, the Touring variant with a family format will hit the market, which will use the same architecture and the same mechanical units.

Lynda Reeder

I'm Lynda, I currently own Tesla. I write about electric cars. My aim is to provide information on how technology can improve the ownership experience of electric vehicles.

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