GRR

The BMW i5 outguns the M5

15th July 2023
Goodwood Road & Racing

Do you think that, back in 1993, those who came to the very first Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard would have predicted a new, all-electric BMW 5 Series would be silently firing itself up the Hill 30 years later? We very much doubt it, but that’s exactly what’s happened, the new BMW i5 on show in the metal in a world-first.

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Back in 1993 it was the E34 5 Series that serviced those looking for a big executive saloon. Since then we’ve had the E39, E60, F10 and G30, and now we’re onto the G60. There’s plenty of business-as-usual when it comes to the new G60 5 Series, but new for this generation is the i5. 

Thursday was your first opportunity to see the G60 saloon in the metal, including the i5. Silently making its way up our hillclimb, the i5 is available in a number of flavours depending on your preference between range and performance.

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If you’re feeling sensible there’s the rear-wheel-drive eDrive40 with 335PS (246kW), which will do 361 miles on a single charge and hit 62mph in six seconds. If you’re feeling a little less sensible, there’s the all-wheel-drive i5 M60, with 517PS (380kW), a 320-mile range and the grunt and grip to fire you to 62mph in 3.8 seconds. That’s a tad faster than an E34...

The model we’re all waiting for – the new M5 – is expected to get a 700PS-plus (515kW) variant of the hybridised 4.4-litre V8 fitted to the stonking XM SUV. What a wild world we live in. 

Elsewhere, BMW has a tasty selection of cars dotted around. The new BMW M2, M3 Touring, M8 Convertible and XM Label Red are all being caned up the Hill, while in BMW’s Stable Yard stand there’s the 1602e, BMW’s very first EV, plus the more recent i8. On BMW’s trackside stand, you’ll find a 3.0-litre CSL Batmobile and a 2002 Turbo. Holy moly.

Photography by Joe Harding.

  • FOS

  • Festival of Speed

  • BMW

  • i5

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