2023 BMW 5 Series Electric (BMW i5) design finalized [Update]

Road-testing of the next-generation BMW 5 Series (BMW G60) and its pure electric variant has begun. Motor1 has published spy shots of the 2023 BMW 5 Series PHEV and the 2023 BMW 5 Series Electric. The latter could arrive as the BMW i5, a model that is more spacious and advanced than the BMW i4.

Design

Going by the first spy shots, BMW is developing the next-gen 5 Series with a familiar silhouette. So, expect the 2023 5 Series PHEV and 2023 5 Series Electric (or the BMW i5 as it could be called) to feature traditional saloon car proportions.

Fans of the old kidney grille can breathe a sigh of relief, as we have a confirmation from spy shots that BMW isn’t adopting the highly criticized vertically emphasised grille seen on the 4 Series model line or even that of the BMW iX. The kidney grille of the all-new 5er does look larger, but thankfully it won’t extend down into the apron. The next-gen model should feature flush-fitted (but not pop-out) door handles for a clean appearance and aerodynamic benefit.

Rendered with muscular shoulders & wide track

ElectricVehicleWeb reader and Instagram user Shkelqim Ameti (@bmw43__) has worked on speculative renderings of the front and rear sections of the BMW 5 Series Electric (BMW i5) upon observing the first spy shots of test prototypes in early July.

The new front-end of the i5 gives the car a younger and more dynamic character. The reshaped headlamps feature new daytime driving light rings in a hexagonal shape and with a bluish hue. The kidney grille is just as wide, but it looks wider because it has a completely masked surface instead of vertical bars. A small ‘i’ logo and a blue surround are the tell-tale signs of the car being a BMW i model.

The bonnet drops down lower, and it has sharper crease lines, and the dome meets blanked-off kidney grille. The bumper has powerful outer ends, including vertical air curtains towards the edges guiding the onrushing air past the wheels.

BMW i5 or BMW 5 Series electric rear rendering
Image Source: Instagram/bmw43__

The deck lid appears more aerodynamic as it merges with the windscreen gracefully, somewhat like in a coupe. Spy shots have shown this change on the test mules BMW has put on public roads. The decklid spoiler is edgier, almost looking like a separate aero add-on. The slim and angular tail lamps contribute to the low and wide stance of the car. A thin light strip connects the tail lamps, but we doubt we’d see it on the actual product. BMW designers show no interest in this signature design cue of EVs. Neither the iX nor the i4 has a light strip bridging the lamps.

The diffuser-style rear apron suggests that the rendered BMW i5 is specified with the Sport package. The apron’s lower section has blue elements on the edges, providing a sporty contrast and highlighting the car’s eDrive system. These also try to make up for the absence of twin exhausts of the conventional BMWs.

In the coming months, BMW will start fitting the test mules of the 2023 5 Series and its electric variant with the final lights in addition to the production body panels giving us a much closer look at the production model.

Specifications

The BMW 5 Series EV (BMW i5) will follow the combustion G60 5-er by late 2023, sitting on the basic platform shared with the combustion-engined vehicle. Interestingly, not just a regular BMW 5 Series electric, but there will also be electrified variants of the BMW M5 with a 750 hp powertrain.

In future, models such as the high-volume BMW 5 Series and the X1 as well as the BMW 7 Series will be available with four different types of drivetrain – all-electric, plug-in hybrid, petrol and diesel.

A clip from the BMW Group Report 2020

Battery & Motor

The BMW i5 should inherit some of the specifications of the BMW iX xDrive40: an electric motor at the rear, and optionally one at the front axle too, with a combined output of 300 hp allowing for 0-100 km/h in about 6 seconds, and a 70 kWh battery pack with a range above 400 km. BMW could also consider a higher ’50’ variant with a 100 kWh battery and 500 hp.

Charging

BMW Group hasn’t confirmed, but it is safe to assume that the 5 Series electric’s operating voltage would be 400 volts or slightly lower. Fast-charging at 200 kW levels can be expected, but not rapid-charging at 300-350 kW levels, usually possible with an 800-volt architecture. Charging at around 200 kW for ten minutes should offer a range of more than 120 km (75 miles), although the highest possible charging speed could be available only in the 100 kWh configurations. BMW could restrict the 70 kWh configurations’ charging capacity to 150 kW.

BMW Group EV roadmap May 2021
Note the BMW 5 Series EV on the company’s investor presentation from May 2021. Image: BMW Group.

BMW 5 Series electric features

The BMW 5 Series electric would borrow many premium features of the iX and i4. Expect the Tesla Model S rival to be available with LED headlights with BMW Laserlight and matrix function, BMW iDrive 8.0, BMW Curved Display that integrates a fully digital instrument cluster and a central display on a one-piece curved panel, BMW Digital Key Plus with Ultra-Wideband (digital key 3.0), 5G connectivity, a panoramic sunroof, and much more.

In May 2021, the current-gen 5 Series gained a four-zone automatic climate control system with a nanoparticle filter that improves the air inside the car using nano-fleece and active carbon layers. The next-gen 5 Series’ electric variant may get this air filtration system as a standard feature.

Automated driving and parking functions should be possible in the BMW 5 Series electric from day one, with software upgrades increasing autonomous driving capabilities later during the lifecycle. Level 3 autonomous driving could be the long-term target for this model.

BMW 5 Series electric production

Oliver Zipse, Chairman of BoM, BMW Group, told PNP (via g80.bimmerpost.com) in an interview that the BMW Group Plant Dingolfing will manufacture the next-gen 5 Series and the first-ever 5 Series electric. In addition, the German factory will produce the next-gen 7 Series and the first-ever 7 series electric as well.

BMW iX front
BMW Group Plant Dingolfing began manufacturing the iX in early July and in the coming years inducts electric versions of the 7 Series and 5 Series. Image: BMW Group

The Dingolfing E-Powertrain Competence Center will be responsible for the 5 Series electric’s battery modules, battery cell coating, high-voltage battery assembly, and e-machine (electric motor). This facility has been producing the electric motor of the BMW iX3 since 2020 and began manufacturing the batteries and battery modules of the BMW iX and BMW i4 in May 2021. The iX and i4 will get their electric motors also from this facility. Production of the BMW 5 Series electric may take place in China as well, but only for domestic sales.

Expecting no less than 50% share of electrified vehicles in its annual sales globally from 2030, BMW Group is preparing to gear up for production of both electric vehicles and electric vehicle components. From 2022, it plans to manufacture electric drivetrains for 500,000 electrified vehicles annually in Dingolfing.

BMW is investing more than EUR 500 million to expand electric drivetrain production capacity in this location by 2022. It is preparing other production sites – like Regensburg and Leipzig – to make them capable of producing electric drivetrains. In total, the German automaker plans to invest around EUR 790 million in scaling up the production capacity for electric powertrain components at these three sites and Steyr by 2022.

2023 BMW 5 Series electric FAQs

What is the release date of the 2023 BMW 5 Series?

The next-gen BMW 5 Series ICE & electric should be out in the market by end of 2023.

What are the rivals to the 2023 BMW 5 Series electric?

The 5 Series electric will go up against the Mercedes EQE and the upcoming Audi A6 e-tron.

What is the price of the 2023 BMW 5 Series electric?

The BMW i5 should have a starting price of around 65,000 EUR.

Featured Image Source: Instagram/@bmw43__