While rumors have persisted for years that BMW was planning a mid-size i5 vehicle to slot above the compact i3 EV, details have been nebulous. It was thought that maybe it would be a small performance car similar to the i8, or a hydrogen-powered car like the Honda Clarity, or even a mid-size crossover fit for families, the latter being the most realistic proposition. That said, there has been nothing concrete outside of a few patent renderings. Now it seems the whole project may have been axed.

Take these rumors with enough salt to de-ice Michigan roads in January, as BMWBLOG only cites unnamed sources within the automaker. Now that we've hedged, some of the rationale behind the move makes sense. The i3 and i8 are essentially single-vehicle platforms that can't be used for anything outside of an EV or PHEV. The sources say that BMW is looking for a single platform that can be flexible, producing EVs, hybrids, and traditional gasoline and diesel-powered cars.

With the wild success of the Model S and upcoming Model 3, some people are wondering when BMW will debut its own "Tesla fighter." Having full-electric versions of the 3, 5, and 7 Series would fit the bill. BMW has already vocalized interest in building an all-electric X3 or Mini, both of which are based on other BMW architecture. As successful as the i3 may be, it's difficult to argue for a single-use platform in the age of flexible architecture.

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