BMW i5: New video hints at upcoming EV

Concept version to debut in Frankfurt
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The BMW i5 has been ousted in an online video promoting electric mobility, ahead of a public reveal at next week's Frankfurt motor show.

Posted by the company's German press site and shared by Carscoops, the clip - which is in German - shows a mystery BMW i sedan towards the end, with a 2019 timestamp - hinting that the production version is due just before the turn of the decade.

How do we know this is an 'i5'? The vehicle shown in the video looks identical to the leaked patent images that surfaced last October (below).

Top: BMW i5 patent, Bottom: BMW i8

In terms of its design, it appears the i5 - or whatever it will be called - borrows various styling cues from its i3 and i8 stablemates. Most notably, the front end looks very much like the i8 sports car, with a low and wide face, slim grille and headlights, along with three slits in the bonnet.

The side profile is amore practical than the i8, mixing the overall shape of the futuristic sports car with the high roofline of the smaller i3 hatchback. It appears the floating roof design that extends the rear windows to the tailgate, common to both the i3 and i8, is also set to feature going by the patent renderings.

Top: BMW i5 patent, Bottom: BMW i3

Meanwhile, the tailgate looks to be a lift-back style design, borrowing from the 3 Series GT and 6 Series GT.

This week BMW announced it would reveal a concept previewing an all-electric four-door vehicle to sit between the i3 and i8. BMW says it plans to have 25 electrified models by 2025, including 12 all-electric offerings.

We already know two of those EVs will be the electric versions of the Mini hatch, due in 2019, and the new-generation BMW X3 - due in 2020. The company says from now on, all full-electric BMW's will fall under the 'i' banner, including the X3 EV. A fully-autonomous electric vehicle, dubbed BMW iNEXT, is also due in 2021.

Above: BMW CEO Harald Krüger with the i5 concept and i3s

The claimed range for the i5 concept has not been detailed yet by the Bavarian manufacturer, though reports have claimed the new EV will be capable of driving between 311 and 435 miles (500-700km) on a single charge - equivalent to most mainstream combustion vehicles.

Should this prove to be true, and achievable with the production version, BMW should have a viable rival to the likes of the Tesla Model S - which currently claims a range between 480 and 632 kilometres depending on variant.