In a recent article on CAR Magazine UK, the talk is focused around details that have been secretly revealed to CAR about the vehicle provisionally badged the BMW i5 or BMW i7.
The vehicle is due in 2018, and, in order to target some of Tesla’ success, will be priced just below the Tesla, and will have a fully-optioned price of more than $125,000.
The vehicle is based around the long-wheelbase 4-door 5 series architecture designed for China. It has a stretched platform that will help accommodate the large amount of batteries needed.
According to CAR’s sources, the design of the i5/i7 is still in “a state of flux.” A former project i manager seems to think it will be a mix of current 6-series Gran Coupe and next-gen 7-series styling elements.
Unlike the i8, the i5/i7 will have two electric motors that will offer electric front-wheel drive, electric rear-wheel drive, or gasoline/electric all-wheel-drive.
The e-unit in front develops 204bhp, the smaller battery-powered motor in the back is good for 95bhp, sources say. This brings the aggregate target output to 400kW or 544bhp – right in the middle of Tesla territory.
That’s true, except that the Tesla is an all-electric, and the i5/i7 will have a gasoline engine on board as well.
Electric range is somewhere in the 80 mile range, and, unlike the i8, will be built more as a range-extended electric vehicle than a plug-in hybrid electric.