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.