New BMW i5 spy photos capture the electric sedan up close, inside and out

We haven’t seen many BMW i5 prototypes in public, so when one pops up, it catches our eye. Our spy photographers recently captured a test vehicle in Germany and were in the right place at the right time. As a result, we have crisp, detailed images to share.

BMW still hides design details with full camouflage, but the headlights are different from previous prototypes. We see bracketed daytime running lights in these lenses, which we believe represent the production units of the i5. The same close-up images also show the extent of the camouflage used by BMW on these test cars. There are faux panels with visible screws all over the hood and down along the sides. The front fascia is also concealed, but the close perspective allows us to zoom in, revealing a host of sensors that may support early rumors that the i5 offers Level 3 standalone functionality.

This new series of spy photos also takes us inside, although admittedly a lot is covered. It shouldn’t be surprising to see a pair of digital displays for the driver display and infotainment system. The layout appears quite similar to that of the new i7, with the screens positioned in the foreground on the dashboard with a slight curve to favor the driver. The center console controls that protrude through the covers also resemble the i7’s layout. The steering wheel is similar to that used in the current 5 Series, although not to production specification.

BMW i5 interior spy photo
BMW i5 interior spy photo

Speaking of the 5 Series, the all-electric i5 should offer similar styling to its internal combustion counterpart. The upcoming 5er shares its platform with the i5, giving buyers a choice of petrol, diesel or electric in a familiar sedan package. It’s a stark contrast to rival Mercedes-Benz’s EQ models, which use different platforms and look very different from their ICE siblings.

There’s little information at this point regarding the power or range of the i5. There is a rumor that the hottest M version could use a three-motor setup to generate over 700 horsepower. Considering the recently launched i7 with a 536hp twin-motor platform, 700hp in a performance-focused i5 doesn’t seem like a big leap forward.

Unfortunately, we probably still have many months before our questions are answered. Sources tell us we won’t see the i5 revealed until 2023, debuting as a 2024 model.

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