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What to expect fromt the new BMW i5

All-electric BMW i5 that could have a maximum range of around 480km caught testing ahead of launch.

Spy photographers have spotted the new BMW i5 electric sedan during its development programme. It’ll go on sale in 2023, alongside the next-generation 5 Series, becoming a new rival for the upcoming Mercedes EQE and the recently updated Tesla Model S.

The BMW i5 will share the same modular CLAR underpinnings as the combustion-engined 5 Series, but it’ll be powered by an updated version of the electric motor and battery pack found in the iX3. The SUV is based on a similar platform.

It’ll be powered by BMW’s fifth-generation electric powertrain, which comprises a 210kW electric motor on the rear axle and an 80kWh battery pack. In the iX3, the system gives a maximum range of 460km, but the i5’s more aerodynamic shape could push this figure past the 480km mark.

If BMW uses the iX3’s powertrain in the i5, it’ll almost certainly use its charging system, too. The SUV is capable of charging at up to 150kW, meaning a 10–80 per cent recharge takes just 27 minutes. When connected to a home wallbox, the battery can be fully recharged in around 12 hours – and there’ll be an on-board 11kW charger if you get caught short.

With the exception of a blanked-off radiator grille and a new diffuser (which removes the standard car’s exhaust outlet) the i5 and the 5 Series will look identical.

BMW’s design approach for its eighth-generation executive sedan will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The new car has a similar silhouette and stance, with a set of sharper headlamps and a slightly more rounded nose – likely to improve its aerodynamics.

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.

Other stalwart brands in the BMW line-up will also gain pure-electric derivatives in the near future, such as the X1 SUV and the flagship 7 Series saloon, which will go on sale next year as a new competitor for the Mercedes EQS.

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Practical Motoring

Practical Motoring