It will be sold alongside the gas-powered 5 Series.
The new BMW i5 has been confirmed for a launch later this year, following months of spy shots of the electric sedan that will be sold alongside the all-new 5 Series. BMW's Pieter Nota confirmed the news upon the announcement of the group's global sales results for 2022 earlier this week, when the German marque said it retained its top position in the global premium segment.
Like the new i7 and 7 Series twins, the i5 is expected to share much with the new 5 Series in terms of technology, design, and underpinnings, with the primary differentiator being the use of a fully electric powertrain. This contrasts with many other automakers where EVs are entirely unique, standalone models.
"The next milestone for 2023 is for 15% of our total sales to come from fully electric vehicles," said Nota. "With the launch of the BMW i5 later this year, we are taking another important step on the road to electrifying our model lineup."
In the USA, the most affordable BMW EV currently on sale is the i4 which begins at $51,400, making it far cheaper than the i7 and iX. However, the i4 is more of a niche product with its four-door coupe styling, and spy shots of the i5 indicate that it will be more conventional in its appearance. Expect a fully digital interior, though. The i5's more classic styling and lower price than the i7 should significantly broaden BMW's electric offering in this country.
Based on previous reports and sightings, the new i5 will be sold in eDrive40, xDrive40, M50, and M60 variations. That leads us to believe that outputs will vary from around 335 horsepower to potentially over 600 hp.
In our first drive review of the new i7 and 7 Series, we picked the i7 as our favorite for its instant acceleration and incredible refinement. It'll be interesting to see if we also favor the new i5 over the 5 Series, considering that BMW's midsize sedan traditionally eschews some comfort for a more engaging driving experience. An attractive i5 Touring was also seen a few days ago, but there is no confirmation of this model coming to the USA. However, a slim chance exists, as BMW has indicated the M5 Touring may come stateside.
The eighth-generation 5 Series and its electric i5 counterpart will continue one of BMW's most successful model lines, first appearing in the early 1970s. Only this time, the enduring 5 Series will be under threat not just from Mercedes and Audi rivals but from its own electric sibling. We expect more information and the usual array of teasers to pop up in the months ahead prior to the i5's official launch.