BMW has confirmed two deeply excellent things about the new electric version of the 5 Series, the i5. The first is that it will get a high-performance, all-electric M version. The second, arguably better, thing is that it will also get an electric Touring estate model.
With Mercedes apparently set on abandoning estates altogether, it's great news that BMW will make an electric i5 Touring to compete with the upcoming (but delayed - it should have been here this year) Audi A6 e-tron Avant.
Both models were confirmed at BMW's annual results meeting by company CEO Oliver Zipse. "The BMW 5 Series Touring is very popular, particularly in Europe," he remarked. "From spring 2024 it will also come in an all-electric version, giving us a truly unique selling point in this segment."
BMW i5 M50 shows the way
He went on to confirm the high-powered i5 M. "The all-electric BMW i4 M50 shows how BMW blends dynamic performance and electric mobility to perfection," said Zipse. "It was the best-selling BMW M model worldwide in 2022. A fully electric Performance model from BMW M GmbH will also be included in the new BMW 5 Series Sedan line-up."
Nothing more in the way of technical details was available, but the i5 will use the same platform as the iX SUV and the i7 luxury saloon, so you can probably expect a range of at least 600km for the top-spec versions.
The saloon version of the i5 will be launched on the market in October of this year, following a first reveal in the summer. It will likely arrive in Ireland in time for January's new car sales in 2024.
We know that the interior will get the big curved twin-screen layout as seen in the iX and i4, but it will get updated and upgraded software, which BMW calls version 8.5.
There will be conventional versions of the 5 Series alongside the electric i5, including petrol and diesel power with 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance and improved plug-in hybrid models, which may well retain the 530e and 545e badges.
The new i5 and 5 Series will be built at BMW's Dingolfing plant near Munich.