BMW i5 to Use a Toyota-Sourced Hydrogen Fuel Cell System Under Unibody

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.

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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.

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