The BMW i5 is currently under development and, apparently, has been in planning stages a while.
At least, that’s according to Sandy Munro of Munro & Associates; the same man responsible for recently funding a detailed breakdown of every resource used on the BMW i3. He is quite an experienced engineer with a vast knowledge of the subject and a plethora of connections. In an interview as a guest on Autoline After Hours, he revealed the i3’s basic secrets and how the essential concept of BMW-Toyota relations came to be beneficial.
We all remember back when Toyota and BMW announced the partnership for a venture possibly involving a modern Supra project and fuel cell, right? Well, now we (probably) have some insight into the situation.
The two companies traded patents. BMW agreed to supply Toyota with the next Z4 platform in exchange for the hydrogen fuel cell tech Toyota has been developing for over a decade. What’s quite surprising is the fact that Munro reveals the i5 is a unibody constuction as opposed to the i3’s body-on-frame carbon fiber mashup and odd combination of structures. He also contends it will use the same design-language as the i3 while further employing the mass-produced carbon fiber. If so, the prodigious expansion of BMW’s supplier plant makes perfect sense.
They’ve done a great job of hiding their tracks with i5 publicity, but this information proves to be some great appetizers for the Bavarians’ futures. I’m not afraid to admit how far ahead-of-the-game BMW has become with their massive investments. The nearly $3 billion spent on i3 R&D alone will, without question, prove to be a pioneering move in the automotive industry.