Dramatically restyled luxury sedan will be offered with ICE, plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains.
The current-generation BMW 5 Series is scheduled to be replaced in 2024, seven years after its launch, and our spy photographers have caught the first glimpse of its completely redesigned successor.
Wearing a bold new look that obviously mark them out from today’s car, two versions of the G60-generation 5 Series were spotted at a BMW test facility in Germany: a plug-in hybrid and the all-electric version known as the ‘i5’.
Following the imminent arrival of the iX flagship SUV and i4 saloon, BMW will launch a further seven pure-electric cars by 2025, with several core combustion-engined models gaining EV derivatives in the same vein as the X3-based iX3. Prior to these images of the new 5 Series, we have seen battery-powered prototypes of the next-generation 7 Series, the current 3 Series and the X1 crossover.
The company has yet to specifically detail how it will vary its EV powertrain offering, but the current 5 Series uses the same CLAR architecture that underpins electric and combustion-engined versions of the new 4 Series, suggesting its larger sibling will offer a similar powertrain line-up if it retains the platform.
That means the standard version of the i5 could potentially be offered with both rear- and four-wheel-drive drivetrain options, with power output ranging from 250kW in the i5 eDrive40 up to 400kW in the performance-oriented i5 M50 xDrive – following the model naming strategy of the i4. The i4 uses an 80.7kWh battery pack, chargeable at speeds of up to 210kW, for a maximum claimed range of between 410km and 590km.
The plug-in hybrid versions of the new 5 Series will likely retain their current 530e and 545e badging, with electrified four- and six-cylinder petrol engines, respectively. A range of pure-combustion variants is likely to continue on sale, at least initially, though it remains to be seen whether BMW will reintroduce the 390kW V8-powered M550i range-topper, and the full-fat M5 will almost certainly adopt some form of electrification.
Our first look at the new 5 Series reveals how radically it will be visually distinguished from the current car. Notably, the controversial vertical grilles from the new M3 and 4 Series are absent, with the new 5 adopting what looks like a more familiar horizontal arrangement, which will be blanked-off for the EV.
The front end itself is a much sharper arrangement, with the grilles angled backwards to give the bonnet a small degree of overhang, while the rear end looks to move away from the conventional three-box saloon shape for a fastback-style silhouette – though variations in the shape of these prototypes suggest the EV and combustion cars will be slightly different shapes.