BMW i5 Electric Car Confirmed By Exec
The third member of the “i” family will come in the form of an electric vehicle and it will probably be named i5.
Rumored over the years to join the current i3 and i8, the upcoming car will be offered, just like the i3, with a range extender, as electric infrastructure and battery technology aren’t yet on a level to compete with internal combustion powered models.
“The range-extender plays an important part in the next years when range remains a limiting factor and a source of anxiety”, said Henrik Wenders, in a discussion with Car&Driver. The BMW “i” head of product added: “Once we get to a range that is more comparable with that of an internal-combustion engine, it will become obsolete.”
Unlike the i3, which most owners use as a second or even third car, mostly for short city trips, the new i5 will be aimed for families looking for a primary car.
“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. We are still working very hard on the usage concept, but this needs to be defined by the market and not by us”, commented Wenders.
Its shape has yet to be determined, so we cannot tell you if it will come as a sedan, SUV or minivan, but it might end up mixing elements from all rumored body styles, while sticking with CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) for the body and aluminum for its chassis.
An exact launch date for the third member if the BMW “i” family hasn’t been announced, but the report claims that it won’t come until the end of the decade.
BMW All-Electric 2018 3-Series Gunning For Tesla’s Model 3
Aside from putting up a better fight against the current Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class and Jaguar XE, the next 3-Series (G20) is rumored to also show up in full EV mode in order to give the Tesla Model 3 a run for its money.
According to AutoExpress, the German automaker knows what it needs to do in order to keep the 3-Series on top of its game, which is why plug-in hybrid and all-electric versions are expected to show up during the G20’s life-cycle. The next 3-Series is also getting BMW’s all-new CLAR platform, which stands for ‘Cluster Architecture’. By using the new platform, the 3-Series could shed as much as 80 kg (176 lbs) in weight, thanks to the lighter components, likely to be used around the pillars, door frames and the transmission tunnel.
The lower weight would help improve the car’s handling characteristics as well as overall agility, both key factors against the likes of the XE and Alfa Romeo’s Giulia, which have gotten lots of favorable reviews lately. Smaller engines would help too, which is why we can expect the 318i’s entry-level 1.5-liter three-cylinder petrol engine to endure. In terms of diesel power, while the 2.0-liter units should remain key, we might also see a three-cylinder 1.6-liter diesel with 114 HP.
As for electrification, BMW engineers are said to be working on a 90 kWh battery pack which could potentially give the 3-Series EV (likely to be called eDrive Sport) a range of about 300 miles (482 km). While the eDrive may not arrive until 2020, we can expect at least one plug-in hybrid version to be available from launch – specifically a new version of the 330e, using an updated 2.0-liter petrol engine and an 87 HP electric motor (plus a larger battery pack to increase EV-only range).
BMW’s next 3-Series is likely to make its debut sometime next year.
Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops
BMW’s Electric 4-Series GT To Do Battle With Tesla Model 3
The German establishment is preparing to come after the Tesla Model 3 and shortly after we heard word about an impending Audi rival, a report has surfaced indicating BMW is coming to steal the Model 3’s thunder.
Autocar reports that the automaker is currently preparing a 4-Series GT using the same underpinnings as the upcoming eighth-generation 3-Series. To ensure it can take the fight to Tesla’s entry-level sedan, BMW intends on making it as fast as the current 335d GT while also ensuring a range of up to 311 miles (500 km), significantly more than the Model 3.
BMW is thought to be considering two different options to power the all-electric 4-Series. The first would see the fitment of a front-mounted electric motor working with an electric propeller shaft and a fixed-ratio gearbox sending power to the rear wheels.
Alternatively, there’s a chance the car could use both front-mounted and rear-mounted electric motors to offer a choice between front and all-wheel drive modes. If BMW is serious about achieving a 300+ mile range, battery capacity will inevitably be around 90 kWh, unless advances in battery technology allow that figure to drop.
When the new 4-Series GT lands in 2019, it will also be available in petrol and plug-in hybrid guises.
Note: current 4-Series Gran Coupe pictured