BMW Finally Making The i5 To Take On Tesla

Interview

It should be a sedan version of the incredible i8.

As of right now, BMW’s i lineup is a little mismatched. While both the i3 and i8 are incredible cars, one’s an all-electric city car, the other a hybrid sports car. BMW has obviously left a massive gap between the two vehicles and now we know what the automaker plans to fill it with. BMW is planning on bridging the gap in its i lineup with the i5, which will be an all-electric sedan. The i5 will appeal to individuals that want to travel longer distances and carry more cargo than the smaller city car.

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Specs on the i5 are still being kept under wraps, but an interview between i’s head of product Henrik Wenders and Car and Driver revealed some information on the sedan. BMW will offer a range-extending engine on the car as an option, which would make the i5 an electric car instead of a hybrid as previous reports indicated. “The range-extender plays an important part in the next years when range remains a limiting factor and a source of anxiety,” stated Wenders. “Of course, once we get to a range that is more comparable with that of an internal-combustion engine it will become obsolete. So this is the reason I can say we will continue to offer the range extender in the future as optional equipment, to address different customer needs.”

Wender acknowledges that the smaller i3 isn’t a car that fits every customer’s needs since it’s tiny and plans to attract a new crowd with the i5. “We are thinking of a new i model above it to attract families, and that means it must be capable of being the first car in the household.” Range is the biggest concern with electric vehicles and while Wenders acknowledged that a larger vehicle would be expected to have a longer range, he didn’t go into specifics. The main question is whether the i5 can take on the likes of Tesla’s Model 3, which is set to be revealed later this month.

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