The next-generation BMW 5 Series will also offer an all-electric i5 version
The all-new BMW 5 Series will be revealed this afternoon, alongside an all-electric i5. Thanks to a selection of spied prototypes in saloon, estate and even hot M5 form we already have a good idea as to how the new car will look on the outside, while the interior should borrow plenty of technology from the firm’s latest models.
The new 5 Series will arrive to continue the decades-long battle with the Mercedes E-Class – also due to be replaced in 2023 – and the Audi A6, which will be facelifted soon. The upcoming seventh-generation car, codenamed G60, will be one of BMW’s final new models before its Neue Klasse-generation vehicles begin to arrive in the middle of the decade, likely led by all-electric replacements for the 3 Series and the X5 SUV.
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As part of BMW’s ‘Power of Choice’ strategy, the new 5 Series will offer multiple powertrain options, including the option of a fully electric version, which will take on the i5 name. A new M5 flagship will also be introduced, and for the first time it will be electrified. However, a core line-up of petrol models will still be the big sellers, making up the majority of the range.
Unlike the polarising grille found on the latest 7 Series and XM, the 5 Series will continue to offer a smaller design. The new 5 Series will also offer a single headlight cluster rather than the split arrangement found on the 7 Series and X7. The latest spies show the production headlight unit, with an LED signature made from two lights. Below we can see side air intakes and a wide lower grille for the radiator.
To the rear, we can see a horizontal rear light cluster that is slimmer than the outgoing car’s. The rear lights also overlap onto the bootlid. The rear bumper is smoothed over, but expect a faux diffuser to appear with exhaust tips either side.
Larger headlights and more traditional trademark kidney grilles when compared with the 7 Series will crown a sportier-looking front end. After all, the 5 Series is the executive saloon that’s set the class benchmark for driving dynamics for decades – a 7 Series-based look would likely not cut it with the car’s usual customers.
To create more space inside, the new 5 Series will grow slightly compared with its G30-generation predecessor, but its balance of proportions will remain similar. This visual transformation is previewed in our exclusive images. The estate-bodied Touring version has also been spotted in all-electric i5 form which will add an extra dose of boot space. Just like the current 530e and 545e models, we expect plug-in hybrid versions to lose a bit of interior space to accommodate the additional battery compartment in the rear.
Inside, it’s highly likely that the new 5 Series’ cabin design will take inspiration from the latest models in the company’s line-up, with a clear advance when it comes to the technology on offer, too.
Like the newly-facelifted 3 Series, the 2023 5 Series will embrace a new-generation cabin architecture that will probably adopt inspiration from the new 7 Series and the iX all-electric SUV. A pair of gently curved screens will blend seamlessly into each other, spanning the area in front of the driver and the centre of the dashboard. And it’s likely that the new car’s switchgear and controls will appeal to newcomers and BMW traditionalists, combining the brand’s iDrive rotary dial with the new touch-sensitive BMW Interaction Bar introduced on the latest 7 Series flagship.
Ultimately, the arrival of the all-electric i5 model will catch the headlines at launch; just as the brand pushed the i7 to the front of stage when it revealed the new 7 Series in 2022, the firm’s Mercedes EQE rival will be the big draw.
Given this next-generation 5 Series will probably be the last pure-combustion-powered model sold, it will have to face stricter emissions legislation in the future, so big efficiency gains have been targeted for the new version. The line-up will rely on four and six-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines making use of 48-volt mild-hybrid technology.
Plug-in hybrid drivetrains have slowly taken over much of the brand’s UK 5 Series line-up, and an expansion of this tech will include a plug-in M Performance model for the first time – likely to be badged M560e xDrive and carrying over tech from the M760e petrol-electric model. This six-cylinder PHEV set-up – packing up to 563bhp and 800Nm – is all but certain to remove V8 power from the non-M 5 Series line-up, while an 18.1kWh battery would provide an electric range of 50 miles.
Although the new car will be uncovered today, UK sales probably won’t happen until early 2024.
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