BMW has finally revealed the new i5. This battery-powered saloon is based on the new 5 Series and marks a fairly dramatic shift in styling and technology compared to the outgoing model.
It's not just the i5 that's getting electrified, either. All petrol and diesel engines for the new 5 Series will feature 48V mild-hybrid technology to boost efficiency, and a pair of plug-in hybrids will arrive in 2024 with a short electric range ideal for commuting.
2024 BMW i5 styling
The look of the new i5, along with the nearly identical 5 Series, is quite different from the outgoing car. Compared to the current 5 Series, the styling is much cleaner, with fewer creases and lines running down the car's sides.
At the front, the headlights look a little sharper and more angled inwards than the current model. This gives the i5 a recognisable signature look from the front and helps frame the brand's 'kidney' grilles. The rear end has also been substantially cleaned up, with flatter surfaces and thin, wide brake lights.
These intakes have been a point of controversy on recent BMWs with many commenters saying they look oversized. Compared to cars that have caused more offence, such as the XM SUV, the new i5's kidneys are fairly restrained without the snout-like look that's graced some other recent BMW models.
The cabin also features heavily updated styling compared to the old 5 Series, borrowing a lot of the same elements as recent BMW models such as the iX electric SUV. A super-wide screen stretches from behind the steering wheel all the way to the middle of the dashboard, with most of the car's functions now controlled through this screen.
A central rotary control remains for the infotainment system, which makes it a little easier for the driver to use on the move. The low-profile gear selector switch sits next to the infotainment dial but, other than that, there are remarkably few buttons in the i5's interior. BMW has fitted touch-sensitive controls for key climate functions but it's disappointing there's no longer any physical switches that can be easily used on the move.
2024 BMW i5 price
The entry-level i5 eDrive40 will cost more than £73,000 when it arrives later this year. Adding options will probably push the price closer to £80,000. Top-spec M60 models will go on sale at the same time, priced above £96,000.
Those prices position the new i5 noticeably higher in the lineup than the regular 5 Series, which costs slightly less than £50,000 for an entry-level 520i. The extra investment for the i5 is thanks to its large battery pack stuffed with expensive lithium-ion cells.
2024 BMW i5 specs
BMW will offer the i5 in a few different flavours – all of which will use the same 81.2kWh battery pack. The first two to arrive on sale are the eDrive40 and M60. The former is a single-motor rear-wheel-drive setup with 250kW (335hp). Despite its entry-level status the eDrive40 can hit 62mph from rest in six seconds, which is well into hot hatch territory. BMW claims a range for this version between 309 and 361 miles.
For a substantial boost in performance, you can also pick the M60 version. This gains a second motor on the front axle for a total of 442kW (593hp) and a supercar-baiting 0-62mph time of just 3.8 seconds. Range estimates for the M60 are between 282 and 320 miles.
The company says it'll release yet another all-wheel-drive i5 in 2024. This will probably be called the eDrive50 and have specs that sit roughly between the eDrive40 and the range-topping M60.
2024 BMW i5 release date
First deliveries of the i5 are expected in October 2023, although they'll likely accelerate as we mode into 2024. Like other recent BMW launches, the company will start selling both the entry-level model and the range topper at the same time, rather than delaying the launch of the latter.
Estate models called 'Touring' will follow shortly after the saloon version, permitting a little more cargo room. At some point in late 2024 or early 2025, BMW is expected to reveal the high-performance M5 saloon – expect this to use a plug-in hybrid engine to minimise the environmental impact of its tremendous on-board power.
When can I buy a BMW i5 from Motorpoint?
With the i5 due on sale in late 2023, nearly new examples should arrive for sale at Motorpoint around early 2026. If you like the look of this battery-powered BMW, you could consider taking out a three-year PCP finance deal on a nearly new BMW 5 Series, then using any equity you've built up at the end of your agreement towards the deposit for your new i5 in 2026.