Just this month BMW North America CEO Ludwig Willisch made a point of saying "Not any time soon" to AutoblogGreen's question about the arrival of a BMW i5 - and that came after he clarified, in case we didn't know it, that no such model exists. But the rumors of its eventual appearance were swelled again by a report in Autobild that sticks more details and numbers on what could be the next offering in for the i brand.

In February, Car magazine laid the i5 out as having a 245-horsepower four-cylinder engine in front, assisted by a 204-hp e-motor in the bow and a 90-hp e-motor in the stern, for about 544 total horsepower. Autobild claims the gas engine will have 218 hp, the front e-motor will have 150 hp and the rear will have 272 hp, for roughly 640 total horsepower. Where the two reports agree is that it - maybe called i5, maybe i7 - will be based on the China-market long-wheelbase 5 Series platform, it will incorporate cues from both the 7 Series and 6 Series Gran Coupe, and it will not be cheap: 100,000 euros ($105,686 US) is the estimate. The i8 starts at 130,000 euros in Germany. Weight for the i5 is figured to be around 3,300 pounds.

Green Car Reports says what's important about the i5's drivetrain is that it's being maximized for electric running. Its evolution of the company's eDrive mechanicals will crank the ICE over only above 36 miles per hour, and even then, only in cases of "maximum power demand." Electric-only driving would offer a range of 78 miles, company officials suggesting that it could remain in that mode for "fully two-thirds of its usage cycle." Whenever a vehicle like this arrives, that is, which Autobild says could be in 2019.

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