Update: BMW announces its Frankfurt surprise is not the i5.
[Update] A new teaser image of the concept slated to premiere at Frankfurt has emerged, showing the side profile in full to confirm our initial impression about it being different than the i5. Not only that, but BMW has revealed the showcar en route to IAA will not be the i5, but another Vision-badged concept to preview what's to come in terms of EVs.
BMW has made it abundantly clear it will bolster its eco-friendly portfolio between now and the middle of the next decade when it expects to have a dozen of EVs out of a total of 25 electrified models. The focal point will undoubtedly be the “i” family, which currently contains the i3, i3 REx, i3S, and the i8 coupe, with the i8 roadster set to arrive shortly. A more practical model is likely on the agenda if we were to rely on a new official video showing a vehicle with a swoopy roofline.
The reason why it looks so familiar is because the car depicted in the clip bears a striking resemblance to a four-door fastback illustrated last year in a series of patent images. It’s not actually a carbon copy of that, but overall we’d say the two preview the same production model expected to arrive in the years to come. Will it be called i5? It’s too early to know for sure.
BMW is currently packing for next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show trip where it will unveil a new concept likely to be a part of the “i” family. However, we have a feeling it won’t be the same car shown in the video above. The teaser image published yesterday with the car hiding underneath a blue cover revealed a low roofline whereas the concept appears to have a taller greenhouse. In addition, the length of the front hood seems to be different while the front fenders of the IAA-bound showcar are more prominent.
Although we don’t get to see the rear end in its entirety, the vehicle scheduled to be unveiled in just a few days will probably be a sedan, as suggested by a rumor indicating a 3 Series EV is in the works to fight the Tesla Model 3. As for the one pictured in the patent images and sketched in the adjacent video, it takes the shape of a hatchback, or a fastback if you prefer to call it that way.
Taking into account there is a good chance we are dealing with different models, it could be a sign of what’s to come from BMW i: two four-door models. The one destined to be shown next week will be a preview of a “four-door, fully-electric vehicle between the i3 and i8,” according to BMW Chairman Harald Krüger. The other one could arrive in 2019 as hinted in the video.