Next BMW 5 Series to Get Fully Electric Versions: Report

Photo: Justin Westbrook / Jalopnik

BMW is in full panic mode over getting some new electric vehicles out of the gate, and that reportedly includes the next-generation BMW 5 Series. It’s both unsurprising but also confusing.

While we still have the refreshed version of the current 5 Series to get through before getting an all-new model, plans for 2023 include a fully electric trim of the sedan, alongside a second electrified trim and the standard car, according to BMW Blog:

One model which will help achieve the EV number is the next generation 5 Series which will arrive in 2023. The refreshed 5 Series will not only sport a brand-new design language, but will also be integral to the electrification strategy. According to sources in Munich, the 5 Series will bring to market at least two fully-electric drivetrains.

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That strategy will apply to the electric 5 Series which is also likely to get a new naming convention outside of the BMW i spectrum. While the final battery capacity has yet to be finalized, we expect the 5 Series electric to offer at least 60-80 kWh battery packs for a total electric range starting at 300 miles.

What’s even more interesting than the battery packs and electric miles is the option between a rear-wheel drive electric 5 Series or one equipped with the xDrive system, which will ensure that the 5 Series caters to customers around the world.

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There’s been a lot of talk over the last week about BMW’s lackluster EV strategy, with its CEO resigning after failing to make the brand’s i-line of vehicles competitive in a rapidly growing segment. The automaker also moved its plans to have 25 new electrified models join the fleet up to 2023 from 2025.

The plan now is to make a common platform that can handle traditional combustion engines, but also be configured into EV drivetrains, which was pretty much the same as the old plan, just now on a slightly quicker timeline.

Of course, objectively, the idea of an electric 5 Series offers a lot of performance potential, proven by our recent ride in BMW’s modified electric G30 5 Series with 710 horsepower, 848 lb-ft of torque, three electric motors and a 45 kWh battery pack, which is being used as a test bed for future electric models.

The confusing part is now is answering what the new electric 5 Series will have that the upcoming BMW i4 sedan won’t. The i4 is promised to compete directly with the Tesla Model S, with a four-door coupe body style and a claimed range of around 370 miles. That would put it at around the same size and range as an electric 5 Series, would it not?

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Maybe the plan is to have a flashy, in-your-face electric design in the i4 and follow it up with an EV option on the 5 Series for anyone who wants a sleeper. While I think it’d fare much better to just make the 5 Series look and drive like the future for once, BMW hasn’t been bold for some time.

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