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BMW i5 Touring: electric station wagon confirmed for release in 2024


Estate car fans get another all-electric option – at least in Europe – with the BMW i5 Touring confirmed for production from next year

BMW this evening confirmed that it will release a fully-electric station wagon in early 2024, with the i5 Touring expected to be focussed mainly on the European market where estate cars remain a fundamentally important product.

Based on the forthcoming midsize 5 Series model, which will be revealed in sedan form in the middle of 2023, the i5 is a fully-electric variant that will be released in a number of variants, including a sporty M Performance trim.

In this way, the 5 Series and i5 range will echo similar moves made by BMW in pairing the combustion 4 Series Gran Coupe and i4 models, the X3 and iX3, and the recently-released 7 Series and i7 twins.

The BMW i5 was announced officially at BMW’s annual conference

The existence of the new i5 electric sedan was already known, but BMW took the opportunity at the brand’s annual conference this evening to confirm that it would add a station wagon variant to the lineup.

“Our Touring [wagon] fans will be excited to hear that an all-electric version of the Touring will be available for the first time from [the northern hemisphere] spring of 2024 – that is our unique selling point in this segment,” said Oliver Zipse, BMW’s chief executive officer.

The chances of an Australian release for the i5 Touring seem improbable. While the 5 Series Touring was sold locally until 2020, the estate version was removed from public order books when the facelift of the outgoing 5 Series generation appeared that year.

BMW 5 Series Touring Luxury Line Touring Atlas Cedar Front
The last generation of BMW 5 Series Touring

However, the 5 Series wagon remains on sale to fleets in Australia, and Victoria Police has been a consistently strong customer for the estate.

Luxury wagons are a niche segment locally, with BMW, Audi and Volvo continuing to offer a small number of options for premium estate fans – but in Europe, wagons remain a very popular shape of vehicle.

It is expected that BMW will offer the i5 sedan and station wagon in a variety of specifications, including single-motor rear-wheel drive models with the longest range, and performance-focussed all-wheel drive versions that add a second motor on the front axle.

Mercedes-Benz EQE 2023 on the road blue
The Mercedes-Benz EQE could be a clear competitor for the new i5

It will be the latter dual-motor format that will underpin an M Performance version of the i5, perhaps set to be called the i5 xDrive60 with around 400kW of power, while RWD versions are expected to launch with about 250kW of power.

Because the i5 will be longer and wider than the existing i4 electric hatchback, the i5 is expected to have even more driving range – perhaps up to 650 kilometres in lightest single-motor specification.

2023 BMW i4 eDrive35 front tracking shot
The BMW i5 could use some parts from the current BMW i4

When it arrives, the BMW i5 will compete mainly with the Tesla Model S and Mercedes-Benz EQE. The former is not currently available to order in Australia, but Benz’s EQE starts at $134,900 before on-road costs for an RWD model, and heads up to $214,900 for the dual-motor AMG EQE53 version.

Underpinning the new 5 Series and i5 is an upgraded version of the outgoing model’s Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform, rather than BMW’s upcoming Neue Klasse dedicated EV architecture that will launch in 2025 beneath a new electric 3 Series-sized sedan.