The next-generation BMW 5 Series was spied on public roads this week as BMW ramps up development on its midsize executive sedan. This prototype, wearing a “hybrid test vehicle” tag on its rear bumper, gives us an early look at what to expect from the redesigned four-door.
We haven’t seen much of the next-gen 5 Series thus far, but we expect it will follow a formula similar to the larger 7 Series, which was spotted in the wild last fall. We expect to see multiple electrified versions, including both a plug-in hybrid and a pure electric model. Gasoline and diesel engines are also likely, with the latter being reserved for the overseas market.
BMW has been using the 5 Series platform as a testbed for its electrification plans, and while “Project BEV” has been wearing the skin of a current model, the underlying architecture is expected to be utilized in future generations. Last we heard, BMW was testing a battery-electric powertrain with 711 horsepower (111 more than the current twin-turbo V8 M5) from three electric motors. We expect a toned-down version of that setup to underpin the all-electric i5 variant.
The only thing traditional about the next-gen 5 Series appears to be its design, which is still unmistakably that of a sedan. While its shorter wheelbase and more-aggressively sloped rear greenhouse may not make for an interior space as generous as the larger 7’s, it should be more than enough for rear passenger comfort.
Look for the next 5er in 2023 as a 2024 model.