Just a few days after patented images of a new BMW model leaked online, reports have emerged that BMW insiders have revealed the car is a research vehicle rather than the rumoured i5 hybrid to slot between the i3 and i8.

According to BMW Blog, the BMW in question has been developed to test out hydrogen fuel cell technologies from the German marque, similar to BMW’s i8-based Fuel-Cell Prototype unveiled earlier in the year.

A source inside BMW apparently told BMW Blog “BMW engineers patented a few things.So of course there is some design support, but a production model would not leave the design department like this.”

As soon as the patented images leaked online, eyebrows were raised about the vehicle’s design. While it did include some characteristic BMW design elements, it has a shape unlike any other BMW as well as squared rear wheel arches and a number of sharp edges and aggressive lines.

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