\nBMW's first saloon entry into its i line-up has been previewed in concept form and will arrive at the beginning of the next decade\n\nThe next car to enter BMW\u2019s i line-up has been revealed in concept form at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Called the i Vision Dynamics concept, it\u2019s a four-door gran coupe envisaged to sit between the i3and i8 and previews an upcoming i5 entry into the firm\u2019s all-electric range for 2020.\nIt\u2019s one of 12 all-electric cars BMW is planning to release by 2025. According to BMW, the concept boasts an all-electric range of 373 miles, with a top speed over 120mph and a 0-62mph time of four seconds. \n\u2022 Frankfurt Motor Show 2017: live coverage\nThe i Vision Dynamics cuts a slightly different character compared to BMW\u2019s current i offerings, and looks quite different to the car teased by BMW in the days leading up to the show. Some styling cues are taken from the iNEXT concept car revealed last year, such as the large, vertical kidney grille outlines, LED strip headlights and horizontal, flared taillights.\n\nElsewhere, the concept boasts a full-length panoramic glasshouse running from windscreen to rear window, plus smooth, one piece surfaces. \nAdrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, said: \u201cBMW i Vision Dynamics is combining electric mobility with the core values of BMW: dynamism and elegance. We are therefore demonstrating how the product range and the design language of BMW i can be evolved further into other concepts. \nAsked when the production model will launch - the i5 \u2013 head of BMW i division Robert Irlinger told Auto Express: \u201cAs soon as we have all our modular systems working, so something around 2020. We are working on a very competitive and innovative project; we are trying to find the right design for the car.\n\u201cIt will sit between the i3 and the i8 \u2013 we [i Division] are at the core of the brand. With our new modular systems, the next level of out electric powertrains, we are able to bring an electrified powertrains to all of our vehicles.\n\u201cThis car is not just for the i brand, it is for the whole BMW group.\u201d\nIrlinger told us at the show that the i5 will use lithium-ion battery cells, but it has not yet been decided if the car will utilise lightweight carbon core construction like the i3 and i8.\nIn terms of design, the concept itself is fairly close to the mark, according to the i division boss.\n\u201cIt\u2019s a concept car but we have a good tradition at BMW I that the concept car and the later production car look the same. Yes, there will be some changes but this car [Vision Dynamics concept] is not far away.\u201d \nOur exclusive preview images show the i5 could instead still take its design cues from 2016\u2019s Vision Next 100 Concept, which was revealed as part of BMW\u2019s centenary celebrations. It\u2019s expected the saloon will go head-to-head with Tesla\u2019s forthcoming Model 3, sitting somewhere between BMW\u2019s 3 Series and 5 Series in terms of size, and be fully battery powered. However, early designs are understood to have included the possibility of hydrogen fuel-cell power for the electric motors, too.\n\nBMW has been talking about the new model as iNext, but we understand the i5 badge will position the car as the brand\u2019s latest standard bearer for new tech, just as the i3 and i8 have done. Speaking exclusively to Auto Express last year, BMW\u2019s member of the board responsible for sales and marketing, Ian Robertson, said: \u201cHaving recently had the final design review, you can assume that it\u2019s a bigger car rather than a smaller one, and you can assume that the packaging for the next generation of batteries has to be accommodated in such a way that gives the car a certain proportion.\n\u201cOne thing we\u2019ll see is that \u2013 as with most BMWs \u2013 you\u2019ll know it\u2019s one of our cars without seeing the badge. Proportionally it has certain design icons \u2013 the grille, light treatment and so on. \n\u2022 Best electric cars\n\u201cWith the i products, we\u2019ve established a few new icons, so we\u2019re bringing these forward. You\u2019ll see this as an i product from BMW, without seeing that it\u2019s the iNext. \n\u201cThat\u2019s always a telling sign for me in design reviews \u2013 that we can see that it\u2019s a BMW. The proportions, the short overhangs are BMW positionings; you\u2019ll see that in the iNext.\u201d The i5 is expected to bring a new approach to interior design and space, thanks to new battery tech. As Robertson explained: \u201cI think the iNext phase will have much stronger volume proportions behind it. If the next generation of batteries are smaller, thinner and with no wet and sticky stuff inside them \u2013 they\u2019re solid state \u2013 then they can be packaged much easier.\u201d\nIt\u2019s expected that the i5 will launch with level-three autonomous technology, so the vehicle is in full control of all functions with the driver able to take over when needed. Eventually the i5 will be capable of level four and five autonomous driving, where occupants have hardly any input.\nBMW\u2019s joint purchase of mapping company Here with Daimler and Volkswagen is playing a key part in that. And it\u2019s working with companies such as computing giant Intel and Mobileye, one of the world leaders in artificial intelligence.\n\u2022 Ultimate guide to autonomous cars\n\u201cWe\u2019re going to see what we believe to be the first full autonomous capability,\u201d said Robertson. \u201cWe\u2019ve assembled quite a powerful group, so putting these big companies together with this company we own [Here] is giving us a powerful move down the autonomous road.\u201d\nHowever, Robertson is very open about the technology not being ready yet. \u201cThere are a lot of people talking about autonomousdriving at the moment,\u201d he said, \u201cbut first of all the technology isn\u2019t robust enough. It\u2019s not good enough to say it will be better for most of the time \u2013 it needs to be better all of the time.\u201d\n\nBMW put 40 autonomous 7 Series limousines on the road in the second half of this year. The technology used in the test fleet will then be developed and fine-tuned, eventually forming the basis for the tech fitted in the i5. \u201cOf course, along the way we\u2019ll continue to develop the tech and bring it in to existing cars,\u201d Robertson added. \u201cBut the big step will be with iNext.\u201d\nBy the time the i5 arrives, BMW will have established itself as one of the world\u2019s major players in the electric car market. As well as its current i3 and i8 models, BMW has the biggest range of plug-in hybrid vehicles currently available. The German brand has already sold over 100,000 electrified cars worldwide, with Robertson targeting another 100,000 sales in 2017. The introduction of the new 5 Series plug-in hybrid is likely to be a big hit for fleet customers. \nBy the time the i5 arrives in 2020, those numbers will have grown substantially, along with expectations. And the new model will be expected to spearhead new growth of fully electric vehicles, as well as leading the charge of BMW\u2019s new breed of autonomous cars.