The BMW 5 Series is one of the world's most popular and successful luxury sedans, combining elegance, performance, and technology. But what if you could get a 5 Series that was even more luxurious, powerful, and advanced? And what if it was only available in China?
That's the premise of the new BMW i5, a fully electric version of the 5 Series that is designed and produced exclusively for the Chinese market. The i5 is part of BMW's strategy to expand its presence and leadership in the world's largest car market, where demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is booming.
But what makes the 2024 BMW i5 so special, and how does it compare to its conventional counterpart? You need to know some key features and facts about the new BMW i5.
The i5 is based on the long-wheelbase 5 Series
The i5 is not just a regular 5 Series with an electric powertrain. It is based on the long-wheelbase version of the BMW 5 Series, which is also exclusive to China. This means that the i5 has a longer body and a more spacious interior than the standard 5 Series, offering more comfort and luxury for the passengers.
The BMW i5 also has a distinctive design that sets it apart from the regular 5 Series. The front grille is closed and features a blue accent that signifies its electric nature. The headlights are slimmer and sharper, while the rear lights are connected by a light strip. The i5 also has aerodynamic wheels and a lower stance that enhance its efficiency and sportiness.
The i5 comes in two variants with different power and range
The 2024 BMW i5 offers two variants for different customer preferences: the eDrive40 and the M60 xDrive. The BMW i5 eDrive40 is the entry-level model that delivers 335 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds and has a top speed of 112 mph. The eDrive40 has an estimated range of 295 miles on a single charge, which is comparable to some of the best EVs on the market.
The BMW i5 M60 xDrive is a performance-oriented model that boasts 590 horsepower and 586 pound-feet of torque. It can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph. The M60 xDrive has a slightly lower range of 256 miles, but it also comes with a four-wheel-drive system and an adaptive suspension that enhance its handling and stability.
Both variants use the same battery pack that has a capacity of 84.3 kilowatt-hours. The battery can be charged from 10% to 80% in about 30 minutes using a fast-charging station with a maximum power of 205 kilowatts. BMW also offers two years of free charging at Electrify America stations for BMW i5 owners.
The i5 has a futuristic interior with a curved display
The interior of the BMW i5 is designed to provide a high level of comfort, convenience, and connectivity for the driver and passengers. Depending on the trim level, the seats are wrapped in leather or Alcantara, and offer multiple adjustments and massage functions. The cabin also features ambient lighting, wood or metal accents, and a panoramic sunroof.
The highlight of the interior is the curved display that combines two screens: a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The display runs on BMW's latest operating system (8.5), which offers various features and functions, such as navigation, entertainment, climate control, vehicle settings, and smartphone integration.
The display also supports voice control, gesture control, and touch control, giving the driver multiple ways to interact with the system. The BMW i5 has a head-up display that projects important information on the windshield, such as speed, navigation directions, and driver assistance alerts.
The BMW i5 is packed with advanced driver assistance systems
The BMW i5 is not only powerful and luxurious but also safe and smart. It comes with a suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that help prevent accidents and make driving easier and more enjoyable. Some of these systems include:
- Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function
- Lane-keeping assist with steering intervention
- Lane change assists with blind spot detection
- Cross-traffic alert with braking function
- Parking assist with a surround view camera
- Collision warning with automatic emergency braking
- Pedestrian detection with city braking function
- Traffic sign recognition with speed limit information
The i5 also has a semi-autonomous driving mode called Driving Assistant Professional that can take over some of the driving tasks on highways or in traffic jams. The system uses cameras, radars, and sensors to monitor road conditions and adjust the speed, steering, braking, and lane changes accordingly. The driver still needs to keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention to the road, but the system can reduce the stress and fatigue of driving.
The BMW i5 is expected to launch in October 2023 with a starting price of $67,795
The BMW i5 is scheduled to go on sale in China in October 2023, with a starting price of 439,800 yuan ($67,795) for the BMW i5 eDrive40 and 549,800 yuan ($84,895) for the BMW i5 M60 xDrive. The i5 will be produced at BMW's plant in Shenyang, China, where the regular 5 Series is also made.
The i5 is a strategic move by BMW to capture a larger share of the Chinese EV market, which is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. China is already the largest market for EVs in the world, accounting for about half of the global sales in 2020. The Chinese government has also set ambitious targets for EV adoption, aiming to have 20% of new car sales be electric by 2025 and 50% by 2035.
The i5 will face competition from other luxury EVs in China, such as the Mercedes-Benz EQE, the Audi e-tron GT, and the Tesla Model S. However, the i5 has some advantages over its rivals, such as its exclusive availability in China, its long-wheelbase design that caters to Chinese preferences, and its strong brand image and reputation.
The i5 could also have an impact on the global EV market, as it could set a new benchmark for luxury electric sedans. Although BMW has not announced any plans to sell the i5 outside of China, it is possible that the i5 could eventually be exported to other markets or inspire similar models for other regions. The i5 could also pave the way for more electric versions of BMW's existing models, such as the 3 Series, the 7 Series, and the X Series.
The BMW i5 is a bold and innovative product that showcases BMW's commitment to electrification and digitalization. It is also a testament to BMW's understanding of the Chinese market and its customers' needs and expectations. The i5 could be a game-changer for BMW and the entire EV industry.