Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle enthusiasts may want to give each other some high-fives when they hear the latest news about BMW's reputed i5. The German automaker has been rumored to be on the verge of expanding its i brand beyond its i3 battery-electric and i8 plug-in hybrid cars for a long while. The latest rumors say that BMW could be working on a hydrogen-powered i5 crossover.

BMW is in the "final stages of consideration" of expanding the sub-brand, Bloomberg News says, citing comments BMW executive Ian Robertson made this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show. There may be more light-weighting efforts, and an alternative powertrain is sure to be in order, but there are few details beyond that. BMW of North America spokeswoman Rebecca Kiehne declined to comment to AutoblogGreen.

Since 2013, BMW has worked with Toyota on hydrogen fuel-cell drivetrains and might further expand that relationship, MarketWatch says, citing BMW financial chief Friedrich Eichiner. The two automakers have already worked together on a prototype BMW 5 Series sedan with a hydrogen-powered engine. That car was unveiled this summer.

Earlier this year, we heard reports about an i5 that would actually be a hybrid-electric vehicle of sorts, and an extremely powerful one. That rumored vehicle – again some sort of modified 5 Series – would actually contain one gas-powered engine and two electric motors, all combining for more than 540 horsepower. If these latest rumors turn out to be true, they would mark a change in things, but we won't be surprise if we hear yet another version of what the i5 will be before it's all said and done.


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