New details are starting to emerge about the third member of the BMW i family.

New details are starting to emerge about the third member of the BMW i family.

We’ve already heard quite a lot of rumors about the model that will sit between the i3 and i8 and now a new report sheds some light on what we can expect. Speaking to Henrik Wenders, BMW i’s head of product, Car and Driver discovered we will be dealing with an electric car, rather than a hybrid. The Bavarian company will offer a range-extending internal-combustion engine as an option.

“The range-extender plays an important part in the next years when range remains a limiting factor and a source of anxiety,” Wenders in the interview. “Of course, once we get to a range that is more comparable with that of an internal-combustion engine it will become obsolete. So this is the reason I can say we will continue to offer the range-extender in the future as optional equipment, to address different customer needs.”BMW i5 renderingThe platform of the third i model, currently known as the i5, is called FSAR, short for flat battery storage assembly. The EV will feature a carbon-fiber structure and will likely take the shape of a crossover, as seen in these renderings by RM Design. A sedan body style is also a possibility.

“We are thinking of a new i model above it (the i3) to attract families, and that means it must be capable of being the first car in the household. We are still working very hard on the usage concept, but this needs to be defined by the market and not by us,” also commented Wenders.

At this point, he is not willing to predict a possible maximum range for the car, but explained BMW is not ”going to join the race about maximum range figures.”

”Currently if you compare those figures and see what kind of energy investment is behind it, you often see the total carbon footprint of those models is higher than for a car with an internal-combustion engine. That doesn’t make any kind of sense.”

While no exact launch date is currently available, Car and Driver says the i5 won’t see the light of day before the end of the decade.

Source: Car and Driver via BMW Blog

Gallery: BMW i5 arriving in 2020 with range extender option