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BMW Interview Sparks Speculation About The i5

The product chief of BMW’s “i Series” of electric vehicles, Henrik Wenders, recently gave an interesting interview to Car and Driver where he commented that the “i5” body would utilize the same carbon-fiber reinforced plastics technology used in the i3, and that a range-extended version of the model would also be offered.

BMW i5 SUV idea auto express

This would imply that the i5 will be an “all-electric” (EV) rather than a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). Unfortunately, though, following the interview, a BMW rep came out and denied that the comments made by Wenders related to anything solid.

With regard to Wenders’ comments, he stated that:

  • The new vehicle will be able to function as “the first car in the household.”
  • The vehicle type will be determined by the market itself.
  • Range-extenders are likely to be only a temporary solution, until battery costs come down further.
  • He “refused to be drawn into specifics of what he would regard as a minimum” all-electric range. Though, he also stated: “We are not going to join the race about maximum range figures.”

As far as the denials from the company rep… Green Car Reports provides more:

After Motor Authority wrote about the Car and Driver article, product and technology spokesperson Rebecca Kuehne of BMW North America contacted the site to deny that Wenders had confirmed any details of the forthcoming product.

She wrote: “The model confirmation of a supposed BMW i5 is incorrect. The interview between Car and Driver and Hendrik Wenders does not confirm the model or any related product specs. We are currently working with Car and Driver to get the information properly reflected and the story corrected. We’d appreciate it if you could amend your story to accurately display this information.”

As of this morning, however, it does not appear that the magazine’s story has been changed.

Regardless of denials from reps, it seems a safe bet that the comments made by Wenders have some truth to them.

Image/Render Credit: Auto Express

Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.


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