Sketches Leaked From China Patent Office May Show BMW Fuel Cell Car

A series of sketches has been leaked from the patent office in China, illustrating what may be the next BMW fuel cell vehicle.

The drawings show a BMW concept car in 360 degrees, complete with a sketch of the roof. As a sleek, two-door coupe, the vehicle shares much of the same stylings of the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid (pictured above). The stance, aggressive front nose and stubbed doors are similar, though this new BMW doesn’t carry quite the same razor profile with its shorter hood and taller rear end.

A couple other interesting details to note are the absence of side mirrors (some speculate that these may be replaced with cameras) and a fuel door on both sides of the car. The tires appear narrow, and may be depicted as a 195/50R20 tire, which is standard equipment for the front set on the i8.

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No interior photos, technical details or texts from the patent documents were included with the leak, as reported by PCAuto.com (sketches can be seen here). But the lack of information hasn’t stop many from guessing that the sketches are for initial design of BMW’s upcoming fuel cell vehicle, which may be launched as the i5.

To date BMW has released only limited details about its hydrogen-powered car, though these drawings don’t seem to match earlier statements from the German carmaker. Earlier this year Matthias Klietz, BMW’s vice president of powertrain research, spoke more about the brand’s vision of an ideal fuel cell vehicle.

“A hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle is going to be used for long driving. It can save a lot of power,” said Klietz. “We have categorized it as for a large vehicle, because it will work best if it’s doing long distances – more than 18,000 kilometers [11,185 miles] a year.”