BMW's electric onslaught is rapidly expanding.
A few months ago, a report claimed that BMW is plotting electric versions of the 5 Series sedan and X1 compact crossover, and now Handelsblatt reports that both models have been given the green light for production. This will continue BMW's strategy to electrify every model in its current lineup to meet increasing customer demand for EVs.
While the i3, BMW's only electric car currently on sale, won't be renewed, the automaker has already announced the electric iX3 and Mini Cooper SE will enter production in China next year. Handelsblatt didn't specify when we can expect the i5 and iX1 to enter production, but they should arrive before 2023 as BMW plans to launch at least 12 new fully electric models by then. The i4 sedan and iNext SUV will also be part of that plan.
The i5 is expected to be based on the next-generation 5 Series and the iX1 will also be based on the next-generation X1. Two powertrain options will reportedly be offered for the i5, but technical details haven't been revealed. 60-80 kWh battery packs will likely provide an electric range of at least 300 miles, while higher trims could deliver 435 miles based on BMW's predictions for the i4 and iNext. Buyers could also have a choice of rear-wheel drive or BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system.
BMW also gave us a sneak preview of the electric 5 Series with the Power BEV, which uses three electric motors producing a combined output of over 720 horsepower and 848 lb-ft of torque. With this setup, the Power BEV accelerates from 0-62 mph in under three seconds. We wouldn't complain if an electric M5 delivered that level of performance.
As for the iX1, the electric compact SUV is expected to be offered with a choice of 38- and 76-kWh batteries delivering a range of 115 and 190 miles respectively and will feature a minimalist interior with a curved instrument panel. Unlike VW, BMW also has the advantage of being able to build EVs and combustion-powered cars on the same flexible platform.