• Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco
When we first wrote about a rumored BMW i5 in January 2014, after speaking to the Munich-based head of electric vehicle operations and strategy, BMW USA wrote to tell us that the "suggestion of a BMW i model larger than the i3 is hypothetical at this point." After that note came a year of speculation from places like Car and Driver, Automobile and Autocar zeroing in on what this "hypothetical" EV would look like. Car has this year's first scoop, laying out a few more of the ideas behind the expansion of the i line.

Said to be aimed straight at the Tesla Model S, it is based on the long-wheelbase, Chinese-market 5 Series but will be badged as either an i5 or an i7. Expected to arrive in time for the 2018 model year to join the next-generation 5 Series, it will be priced to compete with the Model S, but loading up on options can push that beyond $125,000, according to Car.

Outside will be a sedan body, possibly with cues from the 6 Series Gran Coupe and the next 7 Series. The internals will be a mix of components like steering, brakes, and suspension from the next ICE 5 Series, with a plug-in hybrid, battery-extending powertrain derived from the i8. Car's info suggests a four-cylinder motor with around 245 horsepower up front, with a 204-hp e-motor also up front and a 90-hp e-motor in the back, as opposed to the i8's single motor. That arrangement provides about 544 total horsepower and will allow the sedan to run in purely electric front- or rear-wheel drive, or as a petrol-electric all-wheel drive. Electric range should be around 80 miles, and the ICE will be limited to operation above 40 miles per hour.

There's reason to start putting weight behind these specs because they repeat, almost exactly, those written in the Automobile piece from December. That story said BMW wants to build 30,000 of them per year, and a concept could come in 2017.

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