July 13, 2024
BMW electrifies 5 Series with powerful i5 electric sedan

BMW will roll out at least four variants of the all-electric i5 midsize sedan as it expands drivetrains as part of a redesign of the eighth-generation 5 Series family.

The i5, which will compete against luxury battery-electric cars including the Mercedes EQE, was unveiled Wednesday along with a combustion engine sibling, the 2024 5 Series sedan.

The retooled sedan is 3.4 inches longer, 1.3 inches wider and 1.4 inches taller than the outgoing model, with a wheelbase increased by 0.8 inches to 117.9 inches, helping to improve seating comfort, notably in the rear, BMW said.   

The battery-electric i5 variants will be:

  • The i5 M60 xDrive sedan, which will become the flagship 5 Series model with 590 hp and a 0-to-60 mph acceleration time of 3.7 seconds and 256 miles of range.
  • The entry i5 eDrive40 rear-wheel-drive sedan, with 335 hp and 295 miles of range.
  • An i5 station wagon to be sold in Europe.
  • An all-wheel-drive i5 sedan model that will launch in 2024.

The retooled 5 Series and new i5 sedan, assembled in Dingolfing, Germany, will go on sale globally in October, BMW said.

The 5 series, dating to 1972, is a core model in BMW’s U.S. car lineup. It was the No. 2 seller, after the Lexus ES, among luxury midsize cars in 2022, with sales of 20,859, down 15 percent.

The 2024 i5 has an 84.3-kilowatt-hour battery pack and a driving range of 296 to 361 miles under Europe’s WLTP testing regime.

The charging unit in the i5 enables Level 2 AC charging up to 11 kW. When connected to a DC fast charger, the charging rate of 205 kW allows the i5 battery to be topped off to 80 percent from 10 percent in about 30 minutes. BMW said first-time owners of the i5 will receive two years of complimentary 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America DC fast-charging locations.

The i5’s range can be also moderated by activating a new drive system function, what BMW is calling Max Range, to help alleviate range anxiety. When the car is in Max Range mode, drive power and top speed are restricted and comfort functions are adjusted to conserve battery power.

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