The BMW i5: A Game-Changing Electric Business Saloon
The BMW 5 Series has long been hailed as the world’s most beloved business saloon, with over 10 million units sold since its inception in 1972. Now, in its eighth generation, BMW introduces the i5, an electric vehicle equipped with the latest technology and a stunning design. With electric cars gaining popularity, the i5 aims to compete with the likes of the Mercedes EQE, Tesla Model S, Porsche Taycan, and Polestar 2. In this article, we’ll delve into the powertrain details, pricing, design, and technology that make the BMW i5 a game-changer in the electric vehicle market.
Powertrain: Unleashing the Electric Power
The BMW i5 comes in two variants: the eDrive40, which is rear-wheel drive, and the all-wheel drive M60 xDrive. The eDrive40 features a rear-mounted electric motor delivering 335bhp and 317lb ft of torque, offering a claimed range of up to 362 miles. Accelerating from 0 to 62mph in just six seconds, the eDrive40 showcases remarkable performance while maintaining impressive efficiency. On the other hand, the M60 xDrive combines a rear-mounted motor with a front-mounted motor, resulting in a total system output of 593bhp and 605lb ft of torque – comparable to the M5 Competition. With a 0 to 62mph time of 3.8 seconds, the M60 xDrive provides exhilarating acceleration, albeit with a slightly lower range of 321 miles.
Both i5 variants are equipped with BMW’s 81.2kWh lithium-ion battery, offering 11kW charging functionality as standard. The battery can be charged to 80% in just 30 minutes using a maximum DC charge of 205kW. Additionally, BMW’s new charging software optimizes the charging power for efficient results, while waste heat from the battery is repurposed to control the temperature. The i5 also features pre-heating capabilities, automatically conditioning the battery before a planned charging stop to enhance overall performance.
Price: Luxury Comes at a Cost
While the BMW i5 showcases impressive technology and performance, it comes with a price tag that reflects its premium status. The eDrive40 starts at £74,105, and the M60 is priced at £97,745 without options. With additional features and customization, the final price of the i5 can easily exceed six figures. However, for those seeking the perfect balance between luxury and sustainability, the BMW i5 is a worthwhile investment.
Design: Striking a Balance Between Elegance and Aerodynamics
Design director Domagoy Dukec emphasizes the deliberate differentiation between BMW models, with some intentionally being “louder” than others. The BMW i5 falls into the category of more conservatively styled vehicles, focusing on elegance and aerodynamic efficiency. With a drag coefficient ranging from 0.22 to 0.23, the i5 minimizes air resistance, enhancing overall performance and range. Notably, the i5 features an air flap control system that opens intakes in the grille, adding up to 16 miles to the range. The “Air Curtain” further optimizes airflow past the front wheels, while lightweight “air performance” wheels reduce emissions and enhance range. Flush door handles not only add to the sleek aesthetics but also improve aerodynamic efficiency.
The iconic kidney grille, though slightly less prominent, retains its significance and comes with the standard Iconic Glow illumination on specific models. The M60 xDrive, in particular, boasts an enlarged front apron with black surfaces and a blacked-out grille, exuding a more aggressive visual appeal. However, some critics have noted the presence of an unsightly camera mounting in the middle of the grille, which can be a minor drawback in terms of design.
The Petrol Option: A Blend of Performance and Efficiency
While the BMW i5 is a cutting-edge electric vehicle, BMW offers a petrol variant for those who are not yet ready to embrace electric mobility. The 520 model features a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine with 205bhp and 48-volt mild hybrid technology, achieving an impressive fuel efficiency of up to 48.7mpg. In addition to the 520, BMW plans to introduce the 530e and 550e xDrive plug-in hybrids in the spring, further expanding the range of options. These plug-in hybrid models utilize a new gearbox-mounted electric motor, delivering up to 194bhp and offering electric-only ranges of up to 56 and 62 miles respectively.
The Verdict: A Fusion of Dynamism and Luxury
The BMW i5 is undeniably an exceptional car, combining the best of both worlds: the dynamic performance of the 3 Series and the luxurious comfort of the 7 Series. According to enthusiasts, the i5 surpasses its competitors, such as the Tesla Model S, with its exceptional handling and performance. The M60 xDrive variant, in particular, has been praised for its exhilarating acceleration, making even the Model S feel like a shopping trolley. The i5’s extensive technological features and innovative ecosystem set it apart from its rivals. While the price may be steep, the i5 justifies it with its billion-pound investment and the overall experience it provides. The BMW i5 is a game-changer, setting new standards for electric business saloons.
The BMW i5 represents the pinnacle of BMW’s electric vehicle technology, combining power, efficiency, and luxury. With its two variants, the eDrive40 and M60 xDrive, the i5 offers an impressive range and exhilarating performance. The design of the i5 strikes a balance between elegance and aerodynamics, showcasing BMW’s commitment to both aesthetics and efficiency. While the price may be a deterrent for some, the BMW i5’s exceptional handling and innovative features make it a worthwhile investment for those seeking the ultimate electric business saloon experience.
Note: The information provided in this article is based on the reference articles and industry knowledge. Prices and specifications may vary based on region and time. Please refer to the official BMW website or authorized dealers for the most up-to-date information.