We're talking horsepower. Lots of it.
The writing is on the wall and BMW, like every automaker, knows it. We've entered the end of the combustion engine era though an exact kill date has yet to be decided. Expect it to be a gradual phase-out in favor of pure battery electrics. Instead of immediately discontinuing gas-powered Bimmers like the 5 Series and 7 Series, Munich has decided it'll begin selling all-electric variants alongside them beginning next year.
Details about the i5 and i7 still remain closely guarded secrets but the folks at Auto Motor und Sport have uncovered some interesting information. We'll consider them rumors for now but this does sound legitimate.
Supposedly, the i7 (pictured here) will feature dual electric motors at the rear axle and a less powerful one up front. There's a good chance this setup will find its way into the i5 and, later on, the i5 M. The i7 should be able to accommodate a 120-kWh battery, which will provide more than enough juice to deliver a total of around 750 horsepower. An earlier report had this figure pegged at 650 hp.
To compare, the latest M5 has a maximum of 617 hp in Competition guise. As for the i5, it'll share the same CLAR platform as the gas-powered model. BMW has the same formula for the also CLAR-based 4 Series Gran Coupe and i4.
Sources claim the i5 and i5 M have been engineered to handle the i7's electric motor-battery setup. We don't have exact launch dates for these sedans but we're hoping to hear more about them at the 2021 LA Auto Show next week. BMW's EV lineup will really get into gear starting in 2025 when it debuts an entirely new EV-only architecture.
Until then, all of its EVs (save for the i3) ride on that modified CLAR setup, the all-new iX included. While not a bad thing, a dedicated EV platform is still a must. The rumor mill also speculates the next-generation 3 Series could utilize that new architecture as well.