2023 BMW i5 (BMW 5 Series electric) design finalized

In 2021, road testing of the next-generation 2023 BMW 5 Series electric (BMW G60) and its combustion engine variant began in Europe. The former should be available as the BMW i5, a larger alternative to the BMW i4. For decades, different generations of the 5 Series have been high-volume cars for BMW, driving in the all-important revenue for developing future products. Hence, the BMW i5 is inevitable as the carmaker would expect it to be a volume driver in the future when its markets switch to EVs.

Design

According to the first spy shots, BMW is working on the next-generation 5 Series, which will have a familiar silhouette. The 2023 BMW i5 will have traditional saloon car proportions. The classic kidney grille will not be omitted on the new i5. Spy shots confirm that BMW will not use the highly criticized vertically emphasized grille seen on the 4 Series model line or even the BMW iX.

The kidney grille on the new 5er looks more prominent, but it won’t extend down into the apron. It will appear more proportionate to other fascia elements than the 4 Series. The next-generation model should have flush-fitted (rather than pop-out) door handles for a clean appearance and aerodynamic benefit.

Video Source: YouTube/CarSpyMedia

CarSpyMedia recently shared a video of the 2023 5 Series and 2023 5 Series plug-in hybrid. The heavy camouflage and provisional parts conceal the actual design, but the clip confirms two aspects in terms of appearance.

The 5 Series, at least in saloon form, will not deviate significantly from its current shape and size—it will continue to sport the three-box design with a long wheelbase and reasonably sized overhangs. The second observation is that the executive luxury car will retain its horizontal kidney grille instead of adopting the butterfly-shaped giant vertical grille seen on several new BMWs since the Mk2 4 Series. We’re hopeful that the electric 5er will also avoid the polarizing design cues of recent BMWs.

Rendered with muscular shoulders & wide track

Instagram user Shkelqim Ameti (@germanysfinest43) has worked on speculative renderings of the front and rear sections of the BMW 5 Series Electric (BMW i5) upon observing the first spy shots of test prototypes in early July 2021.

The i5’s new front end gives it a younger, more dynamic appearance. The reshaped headlamps have hexagonal DRL rings in a bluish hue. The kidney grille appears wider because it has an entirely masked surface rather than vertical bars. A small ‘I’ logo and a blue surround indicate that the vehicle is an electric BMW model.

The hood is lowered, the crease lines are sharper, and the dome meets a blanked-off kidney grille. The bumper has strong outer edges, including vertical air curtains near the edges that guide oncoming air past the wheels.

BMW-i5-rear-rendering
BMW i5 rear render courtesy of Shkelqim Ameti (Instagram)

The boot lid appears more aerodynamic as it gracefully merges with the windscreen, similar to a coupe. Spy photos show this modification on BMW’s test mules on public roads. The spoiler is more aggressive, almost appearing to be a separate aero add-on. The sleek and edgy taillamps contribute to the car’s low-slung stance. A thin light strip unites the taillamps, but we doubt we’ll see it on the final product. Neither the iX nor the i4 has a light strip that connects the lamps. BMW is not a fan of full-width LED light bars that are ubiquitous across the Mercedes EQ, Audi e-tron, and Porsche Taycan range.

The rear apron with a diffuser suggests that the rendered BMW i5 is equipped with the Sport package. The apron’s lower section has blue elements on the edges, creating a sporty contrast and emphasizing the car’s eDrive system. These also attempt to compensate for the lack of twin exhausts found on standard BMWs.

Specifications

The gas-powered G60 5 Series will arrive first, after which the BMW 5 Series electric (BMW i5) will follow in the second half of 2023. The two cars will be based on tweaked versions of the same platform. We’re expecting a BMW M5 with an electrified 750 hp powertrain for customers looking for the thrill of driving as well.

In future, models such as the high-volume BMW 5 Series and the X1 as well as the BMW 7 Series will be available with four different types of drivetrain – all-electric, plug-in hybrid, petrol and diesel.

A clip from the BMW Group Report 2020

Variants

BMW i5 will come in eDrive40, xDrive40, and M50 variants, as per the sources of BMWBlog. A 250 kW (335 hp) single rear motor might power the BMW i5 eDrive40. Higher variants will have a dual-motor AWD set-up for more performance and grip. The range-topping BMW i5 M50 should have more power (400 kW/536 hp is expected) and torque than the xDrive40. An 80.7 kWh battery pack that delivers a WLTP range of up to 350 miles could be standard in the i5.

Citing BMW’s ex-Development boss Klaus Fröhlich, an article in Autocar dated 23 August 2021 stated that we cannot expect fully electric M cars until 2025. While PHEVs like the BMW XM will be available, he said (current) pure electric powertrains will not match the dynamic nature of current M cars.

Charging

There’s no official word on the 5 Series electric’s operating voltage. But it’s safe to assume it will be 400 volts or a slightly lower. Fast-charging at 200 kW levels can be expected, but not rapid-charging at 300-350 kW levels, usually possible with an 800-volt architecture. Charging at around 200 kW for ten minutes should offer a range of more than 75 miles (120 km). The maximum AC power the i5 supports could be 11 kW, meaning complete charging in 8-9 hours.

BMW-Group-EV-roadmap-May-2021
Note the BMW 5 Series BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) on the company’s investor presentation from May 2021. Image: BMW Group.

BMW 5 Series electric features

Expect the BMW 5 Series electric to borrow features from the iX’s and i4’s parts bin. The Tesla Model S rival will likely come with LED headlights with BMW Laserlight and matrix function, BMW iDrive 8.0, BMW Curved Display that integrates a fully digital instrument cluster and a central display on a one-piece curved panel, BMW Digital Key Plus with Ultra-Wideband (digital key 3.0), 5G connectivity, a panoramic sunroof, and much more.

The current-generation 5 Series got a four-zone automatic climate control system with a nanoparticle filter that improves the cabin air using nano-fleece and active carbon layers in May 2021. This air filtration system could be standard in the next-generation 5 Series EV and the i5.

The BMW 5 Series electric should be able to perform automated driving and parking functions from the start, with software upgrades increasing autonomous driving capabilities later in the lifecycle. Level 3 self-driving could be another selling point for the model.

BMW i5 Production

In an interview, Oliver Zipse, Chairman of BoM, BMW Group, told PNP (via g80.bimmerpost.com) that the BMW Group Plant Dingolfing will manufacture the next-gen 5 Series and the first-ever 5 Series electric. In addition, the German factory will produce the next-gen 7 Series and the first-ever 7 series electric (BMW i7) as well.

The Dingolfing E-Powertrain Competence Center will be in charge of the 5 Series electric battery modules, battery cell coating, high-voltage battery assembly, and e-machine development (electric motor). Since 2020, this facility has been producing the electric motor for the BMW iX3, and in May 2021, it began producing the batteries and battery modules for the BMW iX and BMW i4. This facility will also supply electric motors for the iX and i4. The BMW 5 Series electric may also be manufactured in China, but only for domestic sales.

BMW-iX-front
BMW Group Plant Dingolfing began manufacturing the iX in July 2021 and will induct the BMW i7 and BMW i5. Image: BMW Group

Expecting no less than a 50% share of electrified vehicles in its annual sales globally from 2030, BMW Group is preparing to gear up for the production of both electric cars and electric vehicle components. Starting this year, it plans to manufacture electric drivetrains for 500,000 electrified vehicles annually in Dingolfing.

BMW is investing more than EUR 500 million (USD 535 million) to expand electric drivetrain production capacity in this location by the end of 2022. It is preparing other production sites – like Regensburg and Leipzig – to produce electric drivetrains. The German automaker plans to invest around EUR 790 million (USD 845 million) in scaling up the production capacity for electric powertrain components at these three sites and Steyr by the end of 2022.

BMW 5 Series EV release date

BMW confirmed on December 7, 2021, that it will release the 5 Series electric in 2023, by when it plans to have at least one fully-electric model on the road in roughly 90% of its current market segments.

On 21 October 2021, a report from autohome.com.cn said that BMW Group could “release” the next-gen 5 Series by Spring 2023 (May 2023). The report didn’t clarify whether it referred to the world premiere, the global market launch, or the Chinese launch. There’s still no clarity on the launch cadence, whether the electric sedan will debut before the combustion-engine models.

Over the next year, the BMW Group will expand its electrified product line-up to include fully-electric versions of the BMW 7 Series and BMW X1. The high-volume BMW 5 Series will be added to the electric portfolio in 2023.

BMW Group confirming the 5 Series electric in a press release issued in December 2021

BMWBlog reported on March 16, 2022, that the pre-production of the i5 will begin in 2022. The website refers to the information shared in BMW Group Report 2021. The launch of the new electric sedan will take place globally in 2023.

2023 BMW 5 Series electric FAQs

What is the release date of the 2023 BMW 5 Series?

The next-gen BMW 5 Series & BMW i5 should be at the dealerships in the second half of 2023. U.S. arrival maybe a few months down the line.

What are the rivals to the 2023 BMW 5 Series electric?

The BMW i5 will go against the Mercedes EQE and the upcoming Audi A6 e-tron (Audi E6).

What is the expected BMW i5 price?

The BMW i5 should have a starting price of around EUR 65,000 (USD 69,495).

Featured Image Source: Instagram/germanysfinest43