BMW is known for being the “Ultimate Driving Machine.” Performance, balance, and styling make this automaker’s cars longstanding favorites with driving enthusiasts. BMW has always been ahead of the next curve in the road regarding automotive trends. And regarding electric vehicles, the automaker is on it.
The BMW i3 city car and i8 sports hybrid will go on sale in 2013. Auto Express reports that the German automaker will likely build an i4 electric coupe and i5 electric sports sedan. Like the i3 and i8, both cars will be moved by hybrid (gas/electric) or all electric power.
Auto Express says that the i4 coupe will be built on the i3 platform. However, the i4 coupe will be sportier, have a wider track and possibly more powerful electric motors. It may also receive a small two-cylinder gasoline engine that would recharge the car’s lithium-ion batteries and extend its driving range. As with the i3, the i4 will employ carbon-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminum to reduce the car’s weight.
Regarding the i5, Auto Express suggests that it will be a sports sedan with styling similar to the Audi A5 Sportsback. Like the i8, the i5 will likely be powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline three-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Of note is that the i8 has a combined 349 hp and 406 ft. lb. of torque. However, the i5 might have somewhat less horsepower. The i5 will also be made of CFRP and aluminum.
It will likely be at least five or six years until the i4 and i5 are ready for production. However, the competitiveness of the auto industry will likely push the i4 and i5 forward sooner than anticipated. The i3 and i8 will be important information gathering electrical vehicles for BMW.
Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price: How to Buy a Used Automobile, Sport-Utility Vehicle, or Minivan and Save Money.” He welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site: www.cartown1.com. Follow Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.