BMW has taken a bold step into the realm of high-performance, all-electric vehicles with the debut of the BMW i5 M60. Just as surely as the sun rises and sets, this electrifying addition to the 5 Series family was bound to happen. While a fully-fledged i5M model may still be on the horizon, the BMW i5 M60 stands as a powerful and visually striking option that will surely satisfy the cravings of performance enthusiasts.
Inspired by the sleek and stylish 5 Series sedan, the BMW i5 M60 flaunts a design that oozes aggression and authenticity. Its blacked-out kidney grille panels, muscular hood contours, and bold front air intakes give it an unmistakable M car character. Additionally, features like M-style mirrors, 20-inch light alloy wheels, a rear “diffuser,” and a subtle lip spoiler contribute to its sporty appeal. It’s worth noting that, save for slightly unique headlights that align with the general 5 Series design, the i5 M60 emerges as one of BMW’s most impressive designs to date.
Step inside the i5 M60’s cabin, and you’ll discover a layout that shares resemblances with other 5 Series models. BMW has cleverly integrated many interior design elements from the 7 Series, resulting in a visually stunning and functional space. The dashboard layout remains consistent, accompanied by illuminated trim and a flat-bottom steering wheel—a design feature that made its debut on the 760i. The most apparent difference between the i5 M60 and the 7 Series/i7 models is the presence of a red stripe at the 12 o’clock position on the steering wheel.
When it comes to cabin technology, the i5 M60 inherits most of the features found in the 7 Series, including the dual-curved iDrive screen equipped with the latest infotainment and digital gauge technologies. However, it’s worth noting that the primary allure of the M60 version lies in its raw power rather than its infotainment capabilities.
Under the hood, the BMW i5 M60 houses dual electric motors—one at each axle, working harmoniously to unleash a jaw-dropping 590 horsepower and 605 lb-ft of torque when M Sport Boost or Launch Control is engaged. Even without these performance-oriented modes, the i5 M60 remains a formidable contender with 549 lb-ft of torque. BMW conservatively claims a 0-62 mph acceleration time of 3.8 seconds, considering the sheer power at its disposal.
With an 81.2 kWh battery pack providing usable energy, the i5 M60 boasts a maximum range of 320 miles based on WLTP ratings in Europe. For the U.S. market, preliminary tests using EPA standards estimate a range of 256 miles for the BMW i5 M60 xDrive.
One noteworthy addition to the i5 lineup is the introduction of a new driving mode: MAX RANGE. Activating this mode restricts the vehicle’s speed to 56 mph while reducing climate controls, disabling features like steering wheel heating, seat heating and ventilation, and reducing rear window heating. MAX RANGE mode serves as an emergency system, ideal for situations where the intended charging station is unavailable.
When a charger does become available, the BMW i5 M60 can make the most of a charging speed of 205 kW. With a compatible DC fast charger delivering 205 kW, the i5 M60 can charge from 10% to 80% state of charge (SOC) in just 30 minutes.
Enhancing the driving dynamics of the i5 M60 is the Adaptive M Suspension Professional, featuring electronic dampers, Integral Active Steering, and a lowered ride height of 0.3 inches compared to the i5 eDrive40. The BMW i5 M60 xDrive variant also offers the option of Active Roll Stabilization (with a delayed introduction), which includes Active Roll Comfort.
The arrival of the BMW i5 M60 marks the initial steps toward electrifying the 5 Series. Following this generation, the 5 Series will make the transition to the Neue Klasse platform, fully embracing electrification. While the i5 M60 may not be a full-fledged M car, it promises to deliver a driving experience that rivals its more potent siblings. Furthermore, it presents a purely electric alternative to the upcoming plug-in hybrid M5.
Prospective buyers can look forward to the BMW i5 M60 xDrive hitting the market in October, with a starting price of $84,100 (excluding the $995 destination and handling fee).
In summary, the BMW i5 M60 showcases the brand’s dedication to high-performance electric vehicles within the 5 Series lineup. With its compelling design, impressive power, and substantial range, this model offers an appealing choice for enthusiasts seeking an electrifying and eco-conscious driving experience. The future of BMW’s electrification endeavors holds great promise, and the i5 M60 sets the stage for what lies ahead.
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