BMW Reportedly Cancels i5 to Focus on Electrifying Other Vehicles

The brand's intermediary product between the i3 and i8 has reportedly been put in the dirt.

Oscar Siagian via Getty Images News

BMW specialist news outlet BMW Blog has reported that the planned mid-level product from BMW's i Division, the i5, is dead in the water. As of April, it was believed that the i5 would arrive as either a fully electric or hydrogen-powered crossover or sedan, though BMW remained secretive over the alleged vehicle in development.

One potential reason for the i5's cancellation is a lack of potential platform modularity—meaning it would be difficult to use the basic structure for other models to bring down costs. The existing i Division cars—the i3 and i8—use proprietary platforms, which are incapable of being adapted for other mass-market vehicles.

Instead, the Bavarian automaker is alleged to be diverting resources from the i5 project into design groups working to make electric variants of the X3 crossover and 4 Series Gran Coupe. The 4 Series Gran Coupe model will be renamed the 4 Series GT, according to Autocar, and is one of several new vehicles being planned for construction on the next-generation 3 Series platform, with the electric 4 Series GT reportedly headed to production in 2020.

The electric variant of the X3, to be known as the X3 eDrive, is reportedly slated for a 2018 release. It will be a plug-in hybrid with a price closer to that of the 330e, rather than the expensive 740e or X5 xDrive40e, the latter of which may have the most jargon-filled name BMW has ever put on a vehicle.