A new rumor has emerged indicating BMW is cooking up an i5/i7 model to take on the Tesla Model S.

A new rumor has emerged indicating BMW is cooking up an i5/i7 model to take on the Tesla Model S.

According to CAR, Bavaria's rival for the Model S is codenamed F18 PHEV and will be based on the next generation 5-Series in long wheelbase specification, suitable for accommodating the battery pack. While the Tesla Model S is a fully electric vehicle, BMW's competitor will take the shape of a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) but it's being described as primarily an electric vehicle equipped with a more powerful range-extending combustion engine. It will be aimed primarily to North America and China and its design will be a mixture of the current 6-Series Gran Coupe and next-gen 7-Series.

It is believed the model will be able to provide three different driving modes: FWD on electric power, RWD on electric power and AWD in hybrid mode. Instead of the i8's three-cylinder 1.5-liter engine, the car will adopt a larger four-cylinder which should develop about 245 HP (180 kW) and send power through a six-speed automatic gearbox. It will work with a front-mounted electric motor rated at 204 HP (150 kW) and a rear-mounted electric motor developing 95 HP (70 kW) which would enable the model to have a combined output of 544 HP (400 kW).

The report also mentions BMW is developing the model to run primarily as an EV with all-electric range of up to 80 miles (129 km) while the combustion engine will allegedly be programmed to to kick in after the car hits 40 mph (64 km/h).

As a final note, CAR says a concept previewing the i5/i7 could be introduced in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Note: BMW Sportback Concept render by Ismet Çevik pictured

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