600km range, 'good handling': what you see here is what you'll be able to buy
The car we’ve been calling the BMW i5, or at least the concept version of it, has come out from under the sheet at Frankfurt. The concept is called Vision i Dynamics. The production car will be out in 2021.
BMW’s chief engineer, Klaus Frohlich, told us that it really will make production without much alteration. The real-world range is a claimed 600km. Improvements in battery cells and management, and the electronics will enable that sort of range. The battery and its case are just 100mm thick. In a taller crossover with a thicker battery, it could be as much as 700km, he says.
“It uses the actual KLAR platform,” Frohlich tells Top Gear. In BMW-speak, that’s what underpins todays 5 Series and 7 Series, and indeed everything from the next Z4 to X7 and 8 Series, all of which we’ve seen as concepts recently.
“You see lots of design cues that will appear on the new generation of i cars,” he says. “Also it needs wheels this big because the battery is heavy. But it’s low in the car so the handling is good.”
He says the car is inspired by last year’s Vision Next 100 concept. That was supposed to be an idea for a car 30 years ahead. But Frohlich and the rest of BMW’s board liked it so much they gave design chief Adrian Van Hooydonk five years to get its real-world offspring into production. The Vision i Dynamics is well on the way.
“It has very low drag. That’s critical for the electric range,” adds Frohlich.