The BMW i5, the latest entrant in BMW's electric vehicle lineup, is poised to redefine the luxury segment. A four-door sedan, the i5 seamlessly blends BMW's signature performance, design, and technology with the eco-friendliness and efficiency of electric power. The market release is projected for 2024, setting the stage for direct competition with the Tesla Model S and other high-end electric vehicles.
What Sets The BMW i5 Apart?
The 2024 BMW i5 electric sedan is more than just another electric car. It stands as a testament to BMW's vision for the future of transportation, highlighting the brand's cutting-edge features and innovations. Here's a sneak peek at what the i5 has to offer:
- Robust and High-Performing Drivetrain. The i5 comes in two exciting versions: the BMW i5 eDrive40 and the BMW i5 M60. The eDrive40 boasts a single electric motor, delivering 335 horsepower along with 295 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, the M60 comes with a dual-motor setup, ramping up the output to a whopping 536 horsepower and 586 pound-feet of torque. Both models feature an all-wheel-drive system and an automatic transmission with a single-speed fixed ratio. The eDrive40 will offer an estimated range of 270 to 295 miles, and the M60 will provide an estimated range of 240 to 256 miles. The battery capacity extends to 84.3 kWh, and it supports fast charging at an impressive rate of up to 200 kW.
- Sleek and Contemporary Design. The i5 showcases a streamlined and aerodynamic shape, which significantly underscores its electric character. The front features a large, illuminated kidney grille that also serves as an air intake to cool the battery. The headlights are designed with a slim, angular shape, lending the car a sharp and sophisticated look. The side profile displays a coupe-like roofline that elegantly flows into a short rear deck. The rear end is adorned with a full-width LED taillight bar connecting the L-shaped taillights. Moreover, the i5 comes with a glass roof extending from the windshield to the rear window, which greatly enhances the sense of space and comfort inside the cabin.
- Sleek, High-Tech Interior. The i5 boasts a spacious cabin that comfortably seats five passengers. Premium leather upholstery, adjustable heated and ventilated seats, and a massage function ensure a luxurious ride. A minimalist dashboard design features a large, curved display combining the digital instrument cluster and the infotainment system. Control the display through touch, voice, gesture, or a rotary knob on the center console. Further enhancing the ambiance is a glass interaction bar with reactive ambient lighting. Additional features include a Harman Kardon sound system, wireless charging, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Cutting-Edge Features. The i5 is packed with some of BMW's most advanced and innovative technologies, including:
- Plug & Charge Function. This feature enables the i5 to automatically authenticate and initiate charging sessions at Electrify America stations without needing user input or payment. i5 owners will also benefit from 30 minutes of complimentary charging per session.
- Customizable Modes. The My Modes feature empowers drivers to personalize various car aspects, such as driving dynamics, sound design, ambient lighting, climate control, and display settings. There are six predefined modes: Personal, Sport, Efficient, Expressive, Relax, and Digital Art, each offering a unique mood and ambiance for the driver and passengers.
- Hans Zimmer Sound Design. This feature provides an artificial sound for the i5, simulating and enhancing the engine's sound. The sound changes in real-time based on the driving conditions, creating an immersive and emotional driving experience.
- Highway Assistant. This function allows for semi-autonomous driving at speeds of up to 85 mph on controlled-access highways. Using cameras, radar, lidar, GPS, and map data, the system can steer, accelerate, brake, change lanes, and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. However, the driver must remain alert and ready to take control if necessary.
Comparing the BMW i5 to Its Competitors
The BMW i5 is one of many contenders in the luxury electric sedan market, competing with both established and emerging brands, including Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lucid Motors, Porsche, Genesis, and more.
A key competitor is the Tesla Model S, often considered the standard for electric sedans. Despite being available since 2012, the Model S has maintained its relevance and competitiveness through regular updates.
The Tesla Model S comes in three distinct variants: Long Range, Plaid, and Plaid+.
The Long Range variant employs a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system, generating 670 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque. It touts an estimated range of 405 miles, a top speed of 155 mph, and the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds. This model is priced at $79,990.
Next up is the Plaid variant, equipped with a tri-motor all-wheel-drive system. It delivers a whopping 1,020 horsepower and 1,050 pound-feet of torque, with a slightly shorter estimated range of 390 miles. However, it boasts a top speed of 200 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 1.99 seconds. This higher-performance model is priced at $119,990.
The top-of-the-line variant is the Plaid+, featuring the same tri-motor all-wheel-drive system as the Plaid. It differs in its larger battery, extending the range to over 520 miles. While it boasts a higher top speed and faster acceleration than the Plaid, exact specifications are yet to be disclosed. The Plaid+ is priced at $149,990.
While the Tesla Model S has certain advantages over the i5, including longer range, quicker acceleration, greater power, more model choices, and a lower starting price, the i5 also has its strengths. These include a more refined design, a luxurious interior, advanced features, superior sound quality, and a well-established brand reputation.
Another competitor for the i5 to consider is the Mercedes-Benz EQS, the electric version of the flagship S-Class sedan. Anticipated to debut late in 2021, it's expected to hit the market in early 2022.
The Mercedes-Benz EQS is set to launch with two exciting variants: the EQS 450+ and the EQS 580+. The EQS 450+ comes equipped with a single electric motor that outputs 329 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. It boasts an impressive estimated range of over 400 miles with a top speed of 130 mph. This model can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in approximately six seconds and has a predicted starting price of around $100,000.
On the other hand, the Mercedes-Benz EQS 580+ features a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system that generates 469 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. Like its sibling, it also has an estimated range of over 400 miles but with a higher top speed of over 155 mph. This model can jet from 0 to 60 mph in just around four seconds, with an estimated initial price tag of around $120,000.
Both models of the EQS exhibit a remarkable and futuristic design, sporting a sleek, aerodynamic silhouette. The standout features include a large black panel grille that incorporates a light strip linking the LED headlights and a full-width LED taillight bar that wraps around the vehicle's rear. The EQS also comes with a stunning glass roof that virtually covers the entire cabin, conjuring a sense of spaciousness and light.
The EQS will boast a luxurious, high-tech interior featuring a massive curved display extending from the driver's side to the passenger's side. This impressive display integrates the digital instrument cluster, infotainment system, and passenger entertainment system, all controlled by touch, voice, gesture, or a touchpad on the central console.
Additional attributes of the EQS include a Burmester sound system, wireless charging, compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot, ensuring a connected and enjoyable ride.
The EQS will also incorporate some of Mercedes-Benz's most advanced technologies, such as:
- MBUX Hyperscreen: This extension of the MBUX infotainment system employs artificial intelligence to learn the driver's preferences and habits, offering personalized suggestions and features.
- Energizing Comfort: Utilizing elements like climate control, lighting, music, fragrance, and massage, this function creates diverse wellness programs to elevate the mood, comfort, and health of the vehicle's occupants.
- Driving Assistance Plus: Enabling semi-autonomous driving at speeds up to 130 mph under various road conditions, this feature uses cameras, radar, lidar, GPS, and map data to steer, accelerate, brake, change lanes, and avoid collisions. However, the driver must remain alert and prepared to take control if necessary.
The Mercedes-Benz EQS boasts certain benefits over the i5, including a more extended range, a substantial display, additional wellness features, and a more advanced design. Conversely, the i5 outshines the EQS in aspects such as increased power, diverse driving modes, a variety of sound options, and a sportier aesthetic.
BMW i5 Availability
The 2024 BMW i5 is presently under development and has not officially been released. Nevertheless, prototypes have been observed during public road tests, providing glimpses into its potential design and performance.
Reports suggest the BMW i5 is slated for a late 2023 or early 2024 debut, with sales expected to commence later in 2024. Exact pricing and availability details remain unannounced, but initial estimates suggest the i5 eDrive40 variant will start at roughly $80,000 and the M60 variant around $100,000.
The BMW i5 is set to be one of the most eagerly awaited electric cars of 2024, posing a challenge to Tesla and other competitors in the luxury segment. The i5's enticing mix of power, efficiency, design, technology, and innovation is expected to attract customers seeking a high-end electric sedan.