Are More Plug-In BMWs Coming?

By

Automotive Editor

Armaan Almeida no longer works for CarsDirect. He was an Automotive Editor who produced buying guides and sneak previews, in addition to publishing daily news stories and tracking monthly deals, incentives and pricing trends from Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.

 

Follow On: Google+ | Website

, Automotive Editor - April 21, 2015

Reports point to a 5-series Plug-In, but the costs might be prohibitive.

The electrons are circulating at a fever pitch in Munich, as reports have surfaced outlining the BMW Group's plan to offer every core vehicle in its lineup as a Plug-In option, complementing their conventional gasoline and diesel-powered variants.

i3 and i8 Paving Road to Future

Speculation is gaining credence in regards to the plan, with the newest Plug-In model joining the BMW i3 and BMW i8. And with today's news, that Plug-In plan includes the popular lineup of 5-Series sport sedans, likely carrying the unceremonious model name i5.

Get quoted for a 2015 i3 »

Get quoted for a 2015 i8 »

Still the Ultimate Driving Machine?

But at what cost (literally and figuratively)? On a literal level, the price remains to be seen because it's way too early to really know for sure--it's not a question of "will it be more expensive?", but rather how much more expensive will it be. The i3 carries and MSRP of $43,350 before any big incentives. While not quite as comparable, the entry-level BMW 320 starts at an MSRP of $33,900. That's quite a disparity in price. We're guessing that the i5 will cost around $100k, which is around the price of a well-equipped Tesla Model S.

Now in the figurative sense, our bet is that the i5 will handle just as well as a standard 5-Series. But will it accelerate as well as one? We think so. Especially if the brushless electric motors employed are half as good as those found on the 514-hp Tesla 70D. What we do know is that BMW have a history of making every car handle like its meant to handle: brilliantly.

What About Power?

In terms of power, the i5 will augment two high-power electric motors with a traditional gasoline engine. Since it's still early in the planning phase, horsepower and torque numbers are not available. To help justify the six-figure price, the i5 would have to spin the rollers to the tune of 400 horsepower. That figure's not fact--just our opinion.

Will Incentives and Credits Improve?

To answer the question, yes. They will have to, especially to help coax early adopters into taking the Plug-In plunge. As of late, models like the 2015 FIAT 500e and 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV have received some solid incentives, especially on the leasing front. Moreover, they represent the easiest way to get those highly-sought after carpool stickers, which grant single-occupant high-occupancy lane access.

Today, credits are still valid on both the 2014 and 2015 BMW i3 which are stackable with the current Lease Bonus Cash incentives on both.

At the end of the day, the push for electric power is a good one. It will offer consumers more choices while pushing the envelope for not only reduced reliance on foreign oil, but for improvements in performance. And if BMW is in the mix, you can be reassured that the Ultimate Driving Machine will always exist.

See more of BMW's newest models »

, Automotive Editor

Armaan Almeida no longer works for CarsDirect. He was an Automotive Editor who produced buying guides and sneak previews, in addition to publishing daily news stories and tracking monthly deals, incentives and pricing trends from Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.

 

Follow On: Google+ | Website