Harry Leahey

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BMW has adopted a dual approach to electrification, incorporating both combustion power and pure electric technology in its vehicle lineup.


Now, the company is preparing to unveil its most significant model yet in this regard: the BMW i5, based on the popular 5 Series.


The i5 aims to make its mark in the competitive segment of all-electric executive saloons, which already includes notable contenders such as the Mercedes EQE and Tesla Model S.


The base model of the i5, known as the eDrive40, will be rear-wheel drive and priced from £73,200.


Powering the eDrive40 is an 81.2kWh battery, providing a claimed range between 296 and 362 miles, depending on the chosen specifications. The battery can be charged at up to 205kW, enabling a 10 to 80 percent charge in 30 minutes.


It will feature a single electric motor generating 322bhp and 430Nm of torque, enough to launch the car from 0 to 62mph in six seconds.


The i5 M60 xDrive will be the flagship model in the 5 Series/i5 range, until the anticipated hybrid M5 from BMW's M division arrives.


With motors on both axles, this variant offers four-wheel drive and a combined power output of 593bhp and 820Nm of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in a swift 3.8 seconds, and has a limited top speed of 143mph.


However, due to the increased power, its range is reduced to 283-321 miles while maintaining the same battery capacity.


Inside, the i5's cabin is entirely vegan, even in its entry-level variant. The seat upholstery features a leather-like material called Veganza, while the steering wheel is also wrapped in vegan material for the first time.


Interior equipment includes BMW's double-screen instrument panel and infotainment system. The 12.3-inch display continues to house the dials, while a larger 14.9-inch infotainment screen occupies the central area of the dashboard.


The BMW 'Interaction Bar,' also present in the 7 Series and i7, is included in the i5 as well. This slim, backlit control panel stretches across the entire dashboard and into the front doors, allowing passengers to adjust ventilation and seat settings. The centre console has also undergone a simplification, replacing the traditional stick shifter with a small toggle gear selector.


The regular i5 is set to be available for purchase in October, priced from £73,000, ahead of plans to introduce a more practical "Touring" estate version in 2024.

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Harry Leahey 25/05/23