The next BMW 5 Series is set to spawn a family of electric models.
The range will reportedly open with the single-motor rear-wheel drive i5 eDrive40, slotting in under a dual-motor all-wheel drive i5 xDrive40 and range-topping i5 M50.
The G60/G61 generation BMW 5 Series will reportedly enter production in July 2023, initially only as a sedan but with a wagon following in 2024.
The i5 is also expected to launch in 2023 and could be offered as a wagon, sources told BMW Blog.
While specifications for the i5 have yet to be announced, the i4 eDrive40 uses a 250kW/430Nm rear-mounted electric motor while the iX xDrive40 crossover produces 240kW and 630Nm from its dual electric motors.
The i4 M50’s dual-motor set-up produces total outputs of 400kW and 795Nm.
It’s unclear what size battery the i5 will use. The i4 has a 84kWh battery, while the larger iX has a choice of 77kWh and 112kWh batteries.
All of BMW’s latest electric models support DC fast-charging at rates of up to 150kW, with the i4 models and iX xDrive50 and M60 models offering charging rates of up to 200kW.
They all also support three-phase AC charging at up to 11kW.
As part of BMW’s Power of Choice strategy, the next 5 Series will be available not only in electric i5 guise to rival the Mercedes-Benz EQE and Audi A6 e-tron, but also with petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains to rival the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6.
While Mercedes-Benz is investing heavily in a range of vehicles derived from its dedicated Electric Vehicle Architecture and Audi is getting ready to introduce its Premium Platform Electric, BMW is spinning off more conventional-looking electric versions of its existing models.
Recent spy shots have shown the i5 will feature the same ‘curved dash’ set-up as the i4 and iX, both of which use a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch touchscreen infotainment display situated in one, wraparound housing.
It also looks to be getting the same gear shifter nub and rotary iDrive controller as the iX.
Styling is sleeker than the current 5 Series, with more of a fastback profile like the forthcoming Audi A6 e-tron, but the overall look is far more conventional than that of the Mercedes-Benz EQE.
MORE: Everything BMW 5 Series