Among enthusiasts, BMW’s partnership with Toyota is most associated with the duo’s upcoming collaborative sports car. But there may be another offspring on the way.
The rumored nameplate for the car is the i5, and it would complete BMW’s ‘i’ trio that currently includes electric i3 and the hybrid i8.
With Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda currently leading the production FCV charge, there’s stiff competition between European brands to announce their own hydrogen vehicle.
Audi has been toying with the idea of fuel cells for some time, and was seen extensively testing an A7 FCV last August. According to some sources, the automaker may debut another prototype at the 2014 LA Auto Show, which kicks off this week.
Not to be outdone by its German competitor, there are rumblings that Mercedes has signed off on a B-Class hydrogen car, one that is expected to be produced in small scale and sold in 2017.
There are no specs on the BMW i5 yet, but Toyota’s Mirai can accomplish 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen and can be replenished in about five minutes. The four-door sedan produces a total of 153 horsepower and accomplishes 0 to 60 mph run in about 9 seconds.
The Mirai is expected to go on sale in Japan next month, while hitting U.S. (California) showrooms in the fall of 2015 for $57,500 before incentives. Toyota plans to build 700 units in the first year.
(BMW i5 rendering via Autocar)