BMW has taken a substantial leap into the world of high-performance, all-electric vehicles by introducing the BMW i5 M60. This electrifying addition to the 5 Series lineup was bound to happen sooner or later, much like the predictable daily cycle of the sun. While we may have to wait a bit longer for a full-fledged i5M model, the BMW i5 M60 presents itself as a potent and visually striking choice sure to satiate the appetites of performance enthusiasts.
Taking cues from the sleek and stylish 5 Series sedan, the BMW i5 M60 boasts a design that radiates aggression and authenticity. With its darkened kidney grille panels, muscular hood bulges, and pronounced front air intakes, this electric powerhouse exudes a distinctive M car vibe. Moreover, the inclusion of M-style mirrors, 20-inch light alloy wheels, a rear “diffuser,” and a subtle lip spoiler contribute to its sporty allure. It’s worth noting that, apart from slightly unique headlights in line with the general 5 Series design, the i5 M60 stands as one of BMW’s most impressive designs to date.
Stepping into the i5 M60’s cabin reveals a familiar layout, akin to other 5 Series models. BMW has cleverly integrated most of the interior design elements from the 7 Series, creating a visually striking and functional space. The dashboard layout remains consistent, adorned with illuminated trim and a flat-bottom steering wheel—a design feature that made its debut on the 760i. The primary distinction 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.
Concerning cabin technology, the i5 M60 inherits most features from the 7 Series, including the dual-curved iDrive screen with the latest infotainment and digital gauge technologies. However, it’s essential to highlight 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 in harmony to unleash a staggering 590 horsepower and 605 lb-ft of torque when employing M Sport Boost or Launch Control. Even without these performance-oriented modes activated, 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 immense power at its disposal.
Equipped with an 81.2 kWh battery pack, the i5 M60 offers a maximum range of 320 miles according to WLTP ratings in Europe. For the U.S. market, preliminary tests based on the EPA’s standards estimate a range of 256 miles for the BMW i5 M60 xDrive.
One notable addition to the i5 lineup is the introduction of a new drive 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 the charger does become available, the BMW i5 M60 can take full advantage 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 introduction of the BMW i5 M60 marks the initial steps toward electrifying the 5 Series. Following this generation, the 5 Series will transition to the Neue Klasse platform, embracing full electrification. While the i5 M60 may not be a full-fledged M car, it promises to deliver a driving experience that rivals its more powerful siblings. Additionally, it presents a purely electric alternative to the upcoming plug-in hybrid M5.
Potential buyers can anticipate the arrival of the BMW i5 M60 xDrive in October, with a starting price of $84,100 (excluding the $995 destination and handling fee).
In summary, the BMW i5 M60 underscores the brand’s dedication to high-performance electric vehicles within the 5 Series lineup. With its striking design, formidable power, and substantial range, this model offers an enticing choice for enthusiasts in search of an exhilarating and eco-conscious driving experience. The future of BMW’s electric efforts promises excitement, and the i5 M60 sets the stage for what lies ahead.
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