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BMW i5 2024: Australian release date confirmed for Tesla Model S rival

Dylan Campbell

BMW’s silent-but-deadly all-paw and rear-drive electric 5 Series sedan is headed for Oz

BMW has confirmed its first all-electric 5 Series – including the stonking 442kW all-electric i5 M60 xDrive – will come to Australia later this year.

Intended to replace the current 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 M550i xDrive, the electric-only i5 M60 xDrive is powered by twin electric motors offering 442kW and 820Nm, good for 0-100km/h in an eye-watering 3.8 seconds. Range is a claimed 516km (WLTP).

BMW will bring two electric i5 models to Australia

Intended to take on the Tesla Model S, Mercedes-Benz EQE and Audi A6 e-tron, the M60 xDrive is one of two i5 models initially confirmed for Australia.

Rear-drive 250kW eDrive40 also coming

A lower-spec eDrive40 will also be offered, powered by a single 250kW/430Nm electric motor powering the rear wheels only. Range is up to 582km (WLTP) while 0-100km/h takes a claimed six seconds. 

The Australian-spec eDrive40 will use 20-inch wheels, while the M60 xDrive is fitted with 21s. The M60 xDrive gets active anti-roll bars, while both cars will blast occupants with BMW’s spooky new electric vehicle interior acceleration noises.

The rear-drive i5 eDrive 40 has been confirmed for Australia

Both models are fitted with an 84kWh battery pack and an internal 22kW AC charger. The i5 can accept up to 205kW DC fast-charging, topping up the battery from 10 to 80 percent in around 30 minutes. 

BMW Australia said i5s would come with a five-year complimentary Chargefox subscription.

A “max range” mode can extend the range by as much as 25 percent by reducing power and cutting back comfort functions such as the air conditioning.

The interior has been fitted with a huge 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen

Interior matches new 5 Series

Inside, the i5 interior mirrors that of the new G60/G61/G68 eighth-generation 5 Series. A curved panel stretches from behind the steering wheel to the centre of the dash. 

There’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen with BMW’s latest 8.5 Operating System.

The i5 is trimmed with “Veganza” synthetic leather and other animal-free upholsteries, while there’s BMW’s latest suite of cutting-edge semi-autonomous driving aids.

BMW Australia said it would confirm local pricing closer to the vehicle’s launch later this year.

Still to come: the all-mighty M5

M5 expected to retain V8

While BMW has replaced the M550i V8 with an all-electric model, it’s expected the next M5 will use an all-wheel-drive, plug-in hybrid powertrain retaining the 4.4-litre ‘S68’ twin-turbo V8, as seen in the BMW XM.

The XM’s PHEV twin-turbo V8 powertrain produces 550kW and 1000Nm and can drive up to 83km in electric-only mode. BMW M5 mules have been spotted testing at the Nurburgring, while a wagon version has also been touted.