BMW i5 getting a third powertrain option, 550e xDrive PHEV to follow

BMW i5 getting a third powertrain option, 550e xDrive PHEV to follow

BMW will be expanding its electrified options for both the all-electric i5 and the traditional 5 Series. First up will be a third powertrain choice for the i5, the xDrive40, which will slide right between the base eDrive40, and the high-performance M60. And following the i5 will be the 550e xDrive PHEV to provide a bridge between internal combustion and full-electric driving.

The i5 xDrive40 is out first, and it has the most details. It does have two motors and all-wheel drive. Total output is 389 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque. BMW says it will get to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, a half-second faster than the base eDrive40, and will reach a top speed of 130 mph. It gets the same 84.3-kWh (usable) battery pack as the other i5 models. Range hasn’t been given for the car yet. But it does have charging specs, with maximum AC charging of 11 kW and 205 kW maximum DC fast charging. BMW says an 80% charge can be had in 30 minutes. And just like the power output, the i5 xDrive40’s pricing slides between the entry- and top-level trims at $71,095 with destination charge. Production starts in March, and they should arrive at dealers soon after.

Coming after the i5 will be the new 550e xDrive PHEV. BMW isn’t sharing everything about it, but it did share some basic specifications. It pairs an electric motor with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six and eight-speed automatic transmission. Total output is an impressive 483 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It provides a claimed 4-second run to 60 mph. Top speed overall is 155 mph, and top speed running in all-electric mode is 87 mph. But the range for running all-electric hasn’t been revealed yet, nor the battery pack size. Pricing also remains a mystery. But we should find out in the next couple months, as production starts in July, likely with deliveries soon after.

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