After the i3 city car and i8 sports hybrid launch, BMW will debut the i4 and i5. According to Auto Express, the two cars will use electric or hybrid drivetrains like those found in the i3 and i8 concepts.
It’s not a big surprise that BMW’s i range of electrics will expand beyond the two launch models. Executives and engineers at the reveal of the i3 and i8 in Frankfurt told us, “between 3 and 8, there’s a lot of space.” In other words, BMW could name future vehicles i4, i5, i6, or i7. The i3 and i8 are expected to go on sale in late 2013.
According to Auto Express, BMW’s i4 will be a coupe that is based on the same platform as the four-door i3. It will be sportier, with a wider track and possibly more powerful electric motors. It’s likely to receive a two-cylinder range extending gasoline engine to help recharge the lithium-ion batteries. Like the i3, the i4 will employ carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) and aluminum to help trim weight.
The i5, on the other hand, will be a sports sedan with styling akin to the Audi A5 Sportback. AE suggests the i5 will employ the same powertrain as the i8: a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-three engine and an electric motor. Whereas the i8 is said to produce a combined 349 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, the i5 would be somewhat less powerful. The i5 also will be made from CFRP and aluminum.
We think it’s quite reasonable that BMW will eventually seek to expand its new i range, but don’t expect to see the i4 and i5 for a long time. They probably won’t arrive until after the i3 and i8 launch two years from now.
Source: Auto Express