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BMW i5 will be Prius v-like hatchback

by Drew Johnson

BMW's i5 will actually be an MPV along the lines of the Toyota Prius v.

It was originally thought that BMW's upcoming i5 model would take the form of a sleek, four-door coupe - not unlike the Mercedes-Benz CLS - but a new report indicates the green offering will be more along the lines of the Toyota Prius v.

According to Germany's Autobild, the i5 will arrive in 2015 as a high-roof five-door hatchback, with a sliding rear seat providing cargo room on par with the Prius v. As indicated by its "i" designation, the i5 will be part of BMW's growing range of i electric and hybrid vehicles, which already includes the i3 and i8.

The i5 was originally rumored to share the same underpinnings as the sporty i8 and, despite the different top hat, that appears to still be the case. The i5 will be offered as a pure electric - with a 170 horsepower electric motor driving the rear wheels - as well as a range-extending electric vehicle. The range-extending version of the i5 will use a 90- horsepower three-cylinder gasoline engine to boost the car's overall range.

BMW may be targeting the Prius v's cargo space for the i5, but pricing will be a completely different matter. Whereas the Prius v lists for about $26,400, the i5 is expected to cost $65,725 when it hits the market in 2015.