Stretched version of the electric BMW i3, most likely called the i5, to become new family car
26 November 2013

The BMW i3 platform will be stretched to create a new family car, probably called the i5, according to insiders.

The new model would be notably more family friendly, with extra legroom in the rear cabin and a bigger boot. BMW admits that it has already trademarked the monikers i1 through to i8, making it clear that it intends to expand its new ‘i’ sub-brand.

The i3 is just four metres long and Autocar understands that BMW engineers think that by adding just 100mm of extra legroom and another 150mm of rear overhang, they can create a spacious family EV hardly longer than a Mini Countryman.

Creating the i5 is potentially a much cheaper and simpler operation than stretching a conventional steel monocoque car, as the i3 uses a separate chassis. Lengthening it is mostly a matter of extending the chassis’s longitudinal aluminium extrusions. 

Likewise, because the body is made of carbonfibre-reinforced plastics, extending the pillarless passenger cell is mainly a case of stretching the roof and floor sections. Only the rear door structure would have to be completely re-engineered, although the hinge and clamp systems would be unchanged.

It’s not clear yet whether the i5 would need a more powerful range extender unit because of the car’s greater load-carrying capability. The model is unlikely to appear before mid-2015. 

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26 November 2013
Just read that in Norway, electric cars get tax breaks, free parking, free ferry use, get to use bus lanes. No wonder the Nissan Leaf is its the 4th best selling car. The UK also needs this sort of social engineering to get electric cars to take off. Who will put up with the compromises otherwise? 5k grant? So what?

26 November 2013
[quote=winniethewoo]Just read that in Norway, electric cars get tax breaks, free parking, free ferry use, get to use bus lanes. No wonder the Nissan Leaf is its the 4th best selling car. The UK also needs this sort of social engineering to get electric cars to take off. Who will put up with the compromises otherwise? 5k grant? So what?[/quote] Electric cars here do get tax breaks, or at least they do on the road fund licence and, if it's a company car, you get taxed far less due to low emissions. As for free parking, I don't really agree with that. It's the same issue I have with low emissions vehicles being exempt from the congestion charges, cars either cause congestion and take up space or they don't, the fuel source and emissions has no impact on that.

26 November 2013
I suppose by the same logic, you are against the smoking ban in public places too. After all, a smoker with a pint has exactly the same right as a non smoker with a pint to stand / sit indoors right?

26 November 2013
My only concern is that we will all end up driving functional boxes with no appeal other than that they serve a purpose of getting us from A to B,i want a car like the look of not essentially what it does or how good for the enviroment it is.

Peter Cavellini.

26 November 2013
[quote=Peter Cavellini]My only concern is that we will all end up driving functional boxes with no appeal other than that they serve a purpose of getting us from A to B,i want a car like the look of not essentially what it does or how good for the enviroment it is.[/quote] I can tell you from my point of view this isn't the case, I'm getting an i3 to supplement my Maserati Granturismo S. This is a workhorse and nothing more, it's pleasing driving a quiet car to work and back and leaving the angry V8 for the weekends.

26 November 2013
eXceed@ All very well i suppose, but, not everyone will be buying it as a second, third car,and as you know and like, a few of us want to look forward to getting into our car and driving it, not cringing behind the wheel of a no style car.

Peter Cavellini.

26 November 2013
[quote=Peter Cavellini]eXceed@ All very well i suppose, but, not everyone will be buying it as a second, third car,and as you know and like, a few of us want to look forward to getting into our car and driving it, not cringing behind the wheel of a no style car.[/quote] Have a drive in it Peter, then say it's not a fun car to drive around. I had the Leaf for 10 days and having been in some very fun cars can honestly say that I found it a surprisingly lovely car to drive and live with, plenty of small toys to play with and reasonably comfortable. The i3 is the Leaf times by about 2, great fun. And the fact that there is no noise leaves the airwaves free for more exotic machinery. Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting cash down on the Leaf as financially it doesn't make sense to me. But leased it makes sense to me, truth is in 2-3 years there'll be the i3 v2 with more power and greater range that will make sense to a lot more people. I for one won't be mourning the loss of the diesel runabouts prevalent on our streets currently, even the buzzy petrol motors make an annoying noise in my opinion. I have no positive comments about the styling of any of these electric cars, the E-UP looks good (take note Nissan/BMW!). I've gone for the darkest gray they do to hide any "features".

26 November 2013
I wouldn't hold my breath for a i3 v2 with greater range. Battery technology isn't subject to the same rules as power for cars or mobile processors. Battery capacity / technology has stood still for 15 years. It will take a revolutionary invention to produce something better. No one knows when this will come. It may take another 15 years.

26 November 2013
Ever wondered why these vehicles get so much subsidy? It's because they're useless and nobody wants them.

26 November 2013
If you crunch the numbers these aren't expensive and are new tech. Take the i3 List price = £30,680 - £5000 = £25,680 Battery 22KW/h around £7000 Cost of car without any fuel potential = £18,680 BMW 1 series starting price = £18,040 (no fuel in the tank) to get a 125Kw output to match the i3 though you would need the 1.8i at £22K For the i3 electrical cost is 2 to 3 pence if the battery last 100K this gives 7 pence per mile so 9 to 10 pence per mile in total. It is expected that the price of the battery will fall from $500 KWh to $180 KWh by 2020. So dropping to something like 7 pence per mile. On current prices and quoted performance the BMW 1 is about 12 pence per mile to fuel. If you look secondhand at the first Nissan leaf 2011 for £10K with 20K miles and 24 KWh battery. All beginning to make sense as a second car for running the children round.

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