BMW i8 Milan 2

According to Automotive News Europe, citing Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, BMW CEO Harald Krueger, has dropped hints of a potential new i model to slot in between the current i3 and i8 models. The new car, so far dubbed the BMW i5, could make it to production as soon as 2019 should his clues prove right.

“There is space if you look at it from the number point of view,” Krueger told the German publication. However, that was as far as he was willing to go, in terms of details, on the alleged new model. According to Automobilemag, the rumoured third model in BMW’s i family will feature a regular three-box sedan layout as opposed to the futuristic silhouettes adopted by its i3 and i8 siblings.

The reason being is that said model, should it get approved, will go on sale in China and the United States – studies conclude that customers from both markets prefer a more traditional outlook. As for its aesthetics, nothing has been set in stone yet but the i5 is reportedly set to possess wheelbase similar to that of the BMW i8 while interior space should dwarf the F30-gen 3 Series.

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Elsewhere, reports are also indicating that the BMW i5 would be offered in two variations – a fully-electric model and a plug-in hybrid version. The former could employ a combination of a rear-mounted electric motor with 225 hp and another mounted up front, producing 135 hp. The plug-in hybrid variant, on the other hand, could arrive powered by a three- or four-cylinder engine mated to a rear-mounted electric motor.

Naturally, engineers will attempt to gift the BMW i5 with the smallest possible figure on the weighing scale – a target of no more than 1,564 kg has been touted. Logic would dictate that the i5 will employ a carbon-heavy construction to achieve said target. With enough room for four occupants and their luggage, the BMW i5 should be aimed squarely at the Tesla Model S when it hits the market.

GALLERY: BMW i8 driven in Milan