2023 electric BMW 5 Series expected to wear BMW i5 badge

Next BMW 5 Series range to get choice of petrol, diesel and electrified powertrains

  • 5 Series among three new confirmed BMW EVs
  • May use same underpinnings as BMW iX3
  • Prices could start from around £60,000

The next BMW 5 Series will come with the option of an electric powertrain, and our preview images suggest how the car might look. It’ll rival the upcoming Mercedes EQE saloon - a version of the Mercedes E-Class - and cheaper versions of the Tesla Model S. It’s thought the next-generation model will launch in 2023, with the electric version expected to be called the BMW i5.

Seeing as the facelifted 5 Series has only just gone on sale, we’d expect BMW to wait until 2023 at the earliest before revealing the next-generation model. The 5 Series will be joined by an electric BMW 7 Series and electric BMW X1, which is likely to be called the iX1.

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The BMW iX3, revealed earlier this year, could provide some clues as to the powertrain for the 5 Series EV. A 282bhp electric motor means the iX3 can hit 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds, while 285 miles of range is promised. It’s likely that the iX3 would be slightly heavier than an electric 5 Series, which may improve those figures. Fast-charging should be included, too, so recharging to 80% on a 150kW charger will take just over half an hour. The iX3’s underpinnings use no rare-earth materials and this will be the same in the 5 Series.

Just like the X3 and the upcoming X1, the next BMW 5 Series will be available with petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and fully electric options. The petrol and diesel versions will include mild-hybrid technology too, so the vast majority of 5 Series models will be electrified in some way. It’s not currently known whether this applies to the BMW 5 Series Touring estate.

With the BMW 530e plug-in hybrid starting from £48,000, it’s likely an electric model would cost closer to £60,000 - and several specifications will be available, just as with the models you can already buy.

The BMW i4, BMW iNEXT and the iX3 are all due before the end of 2021, as BMW looks to increase its purely electric line-up. All are set to come with eco-signalling blue styling details, fared-in grilles and smooth bumpers to improve efficiency. A hydrogen-powered BMW i Hydrogen NEXT SUV, based on the BMW X5, is also in the pipeline.

What does it mean for car buyers?

An electric powertrain is the perfect match for a car like the BMW 5 Series, which prides itself on comfort, refinement and sportiness. Without a petrol or diesel engine, it should be very quiet, while electric cars tend not to need a transmission tunnel. This would improve rear passenger space, although the boot may be slightly smaller than an equivalent petrol or diesel version.

While it will probably be expensive in the first place, buyers will enjoy low running costs thereafter. EVs are currently free to tax, and charging at home costs a fraction of a tank of fuel. The 5 Series EV will also appeal to company-car drivers, thanks to a very low Benefit-in-Kind tax rate.

See where the current 5 Series ranks on our lists of the best motorway cars and the best car interiors.

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