BMW i5 Revealed In Japanese Design Patents?

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Intriguing patent images have emerged online showcasing what could be the upcoming BMW i5.

Recently registered by BMW in Japan, the detailed computer-generated images show a five-door model with styling traits eerily similar to those of the BMW i3 and i8, indicating that it could be the much-discussed third model in the marque's range of i models.

At the front, the vehicle pictured includes BMW's customary kidney grille and angular, horizontal headlights baring a striking resemblance to those from the i8. From the side, the four-door layout and design reminds us of the Tesla Model X with the front and rear door handles combined to look like one.

The rear is also immediately identifiable as a BMW due to the similar rear quarter panels as the i3 and the familiar taillights. When viewed from directly behind, the vehicle essentially looks like a bloated and slightly larger i3.

Earlier in the year, BMW confirmed that it is indeed investigating a third i model and that a final decision on the body style was still to be made. With that being said, the company said that the model would be catered towards families and given the popularity of crossovers and SUVs, it's certainly possible that BMW has decided on such a vehicle.

Alternatively, there's a chance that the vehicle revealed in these patent images is a concept, possibly previewing the next i model in near-production spec.