BMW’s electrification strategy is cruising along smoothly. The i3 is moving around 1,000 units a month, i8s are selling as fast as they’re being built, and the company has said it plans to introduce a plug-in model in every one of its product segments.
The next e-beemer will be the 2016 X5 plug-in hybrid SUV, which will debut at the Shanghai Motor Show next month, and is expected to go on sale in the US before the end of the year.
Next in the “i” brand pipeline, according to the German magazine Autobild (via Green Car Reports), is the i5, a plug-in hybrid sport sedan that will be able to run on electric power far more than the X5, or most other PHEVs.
The hypothetical hybrid will use BMW’s new Power eDrive plug-in hybrid system, which the company demonstrated last November. A vehicle with the Power eDrive system can have an electric-only range of up to 78 miles, with the dinosaur roasting engine kicking in only at speeds over 35 mph, and/or in rapid acceleration situations.
Based on the long-wheelbase version of the 5 Series Sedan that BMW builds for the Chinese market, the putative plug-in will have a 218 hp gas engine and two electric motors at the front (150 hp) and rear (272 hp).
Autobild speculates that BMW plans to introduce the new vehicle around 2018, and to produce 30,000 units per year, with a price of about 100,000 euros.