The long-rumored BMW i5/i7 is looking set to hit the market sometime in 2018 — and will be designed specifically to compete with Tesla’s Model S, according to recent reports.
While the model is expected to have an upper-market look to it, the all-electric range isn’t actually expected to approach that of the Model S — reportedly only possessing a zero-emissions range of up to 80 miles per charge.
This would of course not really put the i5/i7 on the same level as Tesla’s offerings, and that’s not even mentioning acceleration yet. Overall, it looks like this will be something that’s more like an upper-market Chevy Volt competitor, rather than a Tesla competitor.
GAS2 provides more:
According to the UK’s Car Magazine, the rumored BMW i5/i7 will continue in the tradition of the i3 and i8, but boasting two electric motors. The setup will be similar to the drivetrain of the i8, with no mechanical connection between the front and rear wheels, though in this case with an electric motor situated on each axle.
The front motor will be good for about 245 horsepower, and the rear motor about 95 ponies, with a 245 horsepower four-cylinder range extender bringing total output to about 545 horsepower. The gas engine will assist at speeds above 40 MPH, though the i5/i7 is being designed to operate primarily on battery power. The plug-in hybrid can operate using either the front or rear electric motors alone, together, or in conjunction with the range extender, which from the sounds of it will also help in the motivation.
So, essentially, it’s an impressive plug-in hybrid (PHEV), but not something that can really compete with Tesla in any way other than brand name I suppose. Makes you wonder if BMW is really planning to pull the trigger with regards to electric vehicles and develop a purely electric and high-performance vehicle.
It seems even Porsche is now getting into that game after all — with the upcoming Pajun electric sedan.
The next move for BMW on the PHEV front is reportedly to transform the 3-series sedans into PHEVs — ceasing to offer non-PHEV versions of the highly popular vehicles. An interesting move — but one aimed at a very different section of the auto market than Tesla is aimed at, when it comes down to it. Despite all of the friction between the two companies in recent times, they are clearly taking different paths for the time being. (If these rumors are true, of course.)
Image Credit: BMW
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