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The hydrogen fuel-cell drivetrain powering the new Toyota Mirai could, if reports are correct, end up underneath a third BMW i model, possibly named the BMW i5.

Unnamed sources within BMW have told Autocar that the Bavarian car company is working with Toyota to develop a new hydrogen fuel-cell car. The drivetrain of this new car is expected to be a development of the one used underneath the Toyota Mirai (below), which will launched later today in Japan.

The Mirai is claimed to have a driving range of 700km under Japan’s generous fuel economy rating scheme.

Like other fuel-cell vehicles, the Mirai and its BMW cousin will store hydrogen in a high pressure tank. The fuel-cell uses this hydrogen and combines it with oxygen in the atmosphere to create electricity and water vapour. The latter disappears as exhaust, while the former powers the car’s electric motor.

The new model will sit between the electric, or optionally range-extended, i3 hatchback and the i8 plug-in hybrid supercar. As such, the fuel-cell vehicle could well be badged as the i5.


The report in the British publication gives no timeframe for the launch of the i5, but under the terms of the most recent collaboration deal between BMW and Toyota, a fuel-cell drivetrain is due around 2020.

In addition to their collaborative research and development efforts, the two manufacturers are also working together on a number of jointly developed sports cars, one of which could be the modern day successor to the front-engine, rear-wheel drive Supra.