The BMW i3 has been surprisingly popular here in the U.S., as it has sold more than 500 units in all but four months since it hit dealers in May 2014. The i8 has also been surprisingly hot, with over 100 units sold in all but three months since launching in August 2014, and a growing waiting list. With these two super-niche vehicles performing relatively well, BMW is looking toward more mainstream i Series models, and a new report from Autocar claims we are close to learning what the new i Series model will be.
According to the report, BMW is in the “final stages” of determining what the new i Series model, which will likely carry the i5 designation, will look like. The two body styles BMW is considering include a stretched version of the i3, making it almost an MPV-like vehicle, and a standard sedan roughly the size of the current 3 Series. The latter, of course, would be a direct rival to the Tesla Model 3.
While both of these models sound great, I have a feeling we’ll likely see the larger i3, as a 3-Series-like sedan would likely cannibalize sales from the soon-to-be-launched 330e plug-in hybrid, which has a 25-mile electric range. The only way BMW could overcome this is to make sure that the sedan has an electric range in excess of 200 miles. Considering the i3 BEV has a range of just 81 miles, this could be quite a stretch.
Regardless of what model we end up seeing, chances are we will see them around the spring of 2016, which coincides with BMW’s 100th birthday.
Keep it locked here for all the latest on the new i5.