BMW is to expand its i range extended (distant) family and fill the gap between the i3 and i8 models. The next model will probably be named i5, a luxurious electric sedan with optional range extender.

Henrik Wenders, the head of i brand, spoke to "Car and Driver" magazine and said that the upcoming i5's body will use the same carbon-fiber reinforced plastic technology as the previous two models. He added that it will offer a range-extending engine, meaning it'll primarily function as a battery-electric car.

According to Wenders, the new vehicle's goal is to become the first car in the household (i3 usually is the second or even only the third one). He didn't mention specifically what kind of an automobile exactly this would be, but the "Green Car Reports" hints that we're probably looking at a crossover utility vehicle rather than a more conventional sedan.

Wenders also mentioned the fact that range extedners are only a temporary solution, at least until the batteries don't offer the kind of capacity that will satisfy customers' everyday needs. Reportedly, fewer than 5 percent of BMW i3 drivers regularly use them - as opposed to 60 percent, when i3 came to the market.

March 17, 2016 Driving photo: BMW

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