Update: ‘Specifications’ section updated.
Sources have told our friends over at BMWBlog that the BMW i5 Touring is under consideration and that a market launch is expected in 2024. The G61 5 Series Touring lineup will include at least one all-wheel drive i5 Touring variant, the report states as the station wagon body style is still popular in European markets.
The station wagon or estate is not dead
According to a report from analyst firm LMC Automotive in 2019, while the station wagon body style is losing popularity to the SUV, still, 1.5 million estate cars are expected to be sold in 2025 with Europe accounting for around 75 per cent of the market. Naturally, demand has started shifting towards electrified models as governments are setting deadlines for the phasing-out of combustion engines.
Northern Europe, a particularly strong market for estates, is accelerating the shift to electric vehicles, which builds a strong case for BMW to approve the project. It is also interesting to note that the world’s first and perhaps only electric estate on sale is the MG5 that is available in the UK and shortly in European markets.
BMW i5 Touring Exterior
Unlike the BMW iX or the BMW i4, spy shots have shown that BMW designers will maintain the subtle kidney grille design on the G60 5 Series, which should translate to the BMW i5 too. That does beg the question though if the BMW i5 Touring will get the iX’s ability to erase scratch marks on its grille thanks to the additional polyurethane coating applied by the manufacturer.
The rest of the design of the BMW i5 Touring should closely resemble the business estate of today with a focus on improved aerodynamics (which explains the need for flush door handles that pop open automatically and electrically).
On the medium-sized grille
The next-gen 5 Series sedan’s shape and size would be similar to those of the current model. BMW as a brand is experimenting with bolder, outlandish designs that help its cars truly stand out, but it probably won’t risk disappointing customers of its staple models like the 5 Series. It will carry forward the current model’s horizontal kidney grille instead of using the new butterfly-shaped vertical kidney grille. The next-gen 5 Series Touring, the i5, and the i5 Touring, are likely to be safe from any polarizing design elements.
The interior of the BMW i5 should have a minimalist design and a luxurious lounge-style ambiance. Expect an iX-type low-profile dashboard with simplistic surfacing, delicately styled air vents, discreetly integrated speakers, a HUD projector, and a pair of sleek displays.
BMW Curved Display
The i5 and i5 Touring may feature a combination of the virtual instrument cluster (driver information display) and the BMW iDrive control/operation system’s central display (control display) clubbed into a frameless single-piece glass surface angled towards the driver. Called BMW Curved Display, this panel that brings together the two cockpit displays may appear to be free standing, giving the cockpit area a neat, low-profile appearance. The instrument cluster could measure 12.3 inches diagonally, and the central display 14.9 inches.
There should be plenty of space between the dashboard and the center console, which may house an electronic gear selector, iDrive 8 function scroller and selector, volume adjuster, start-stop button, and an electronic parking brake, designed artfully and made from premium materials, possibly including glass and wood. The center console may feature touch control buttons with haptic feedback. The principle of shy tech and reduction to the essentials would be visible throughout the cabin.
The i5 Touring will come with the brand’s 5th Generation eDrive powertrain that houses a more densely packed and energy-efficient battery module and an integrated drive system that houses the e-motor, transmission, and power electronics in one common housing.
Based on the same cluster architecture (CLAR) platform as the i4, the BMW i5 and the i5 Touring are expected to be launched with a similar set of powertrains — eDrive40 and i50 M50. There could also be the xDrive40, an AWD version, according to a BMWBlog report dated February 14, 2022.
Expect the base BMW i5 eDrive40 to come with an 80.7 kWh battery with approximately 350 miles of range (WLTP). It’s likely to be powered by a motor that makes at least 250 kW (340 hp) and 430 Nm.
The higher BMW i5 xDrive40 will come with a dual-motor setup, so expect a significant bump in its power output. The range-topping BMW i5 M50 will have an AWD setup with an expected output in the region of 400 kW (544 hp) and 795 Nm. Expect the WLTP range to be at least 300 miles in these variants, which includes the Touring.
The i5 is expected to support 200 kW DC fast charging, 10 minutes of which can add 90 miles range. It will also support 11 kW AC charging that can recharge the battery fully in 8 hours. These figures, however, are subject to vary in case BMW decides to install a larger battery pack in the i5.
Production & Launch
The G60 series 5 Series and its electric counterparts (which now would include the i5 Touring) will be made at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing, Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW confirmed. The BMW i5 sedan should be launched by end-2023, and a 2024 launch can be anticipated for the i5 Touring.
Expect the BMW i5 range to kick off at around USD 70,000-75,000 in America. As with the ICE version, there would not be a considerable difference in pricing between the i5 sedan and touring.
Featured Image (Sketch of the current 5 Series Touring): BMW Group