BMW to Launch Tesla Model S Fighter in 2018

Stephen Elmer
by Stephen Elmer

BMW is planning an range-extended electric vehicle to fight Tesla.

Potentially called the i5 or i7, the car will arrive sometime around 2018 and be based on the new long-wheelbase 5 Series that is being built for China. Base pricing will start just below the Model S, though it will span up to about $125,000.

Unlike the i8 (pictured above) which has one e-motor, the i7/i5 will feature two electric motors in the rear and a small gas-powered range extender in the front that will make it possible for the car to be electric front-wheel drive, electric rear-wheel drive or gas-electric all-wheel drive depending on the driver’s needs. Power will sit right around 540 hp, while the car is said to have an electric range of about 80 miles.

SEE ALSO: BMW Builds Experimental Tesla Fighter

The new 5 Series is being built on BMW’s new Cluster Architecture, a modular platform that will eventually underpin everything from the 3 Series to the 7 Series. This will allow the i7/i5 to use the same suspension, steering and brake components as the 5 Series with a different powertrain altogether.

The 2018 arrival is no coincidence, as 4.5% of all vehicles sold in US CARB states must be zero-emissions by 2018. That number will increase in annual steps up the 22% by 2025. Manufacturers that don’t comply with this will not be able to sell cars in these States, or they will be forced to buy clean-air credits, the largest seller of which is Tesla.

[Source: Car Magazine]

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Stephen Elmer
Stephen Elmer

Stephen covers all of the day-to-day events of the industry as the News Editor at AutoGuide, along with being the AG truck expert. His truck knowledge comes from working long days on the woodlot with pickups and driving straight trucks professionally. When not at his desk, Steve can be found playing his bass or riding his snowmobile or Sea-Doo. Find Stephen on <A title="@Selmer07 on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Stephen on Google+" href="">Google+</A>

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