The 2011 BMW 5 Series makes an unexpected appearance on U.S. soil. Until now, we were used to seeing the next 5er prototypes in Germany, but the fellows at AutomotiveTraveler snapped some new shots of a test mule in the California desert.
And as usual, these test mules are covered with plastic fake body parts to protect the design lines of what it’s rumored to be one of the most progressive and evolutionary BMWs to come. The next-generation BMW 5-series will soften the harder lines of the current E60 with a cleaner front-end design and where the bonnet meets the lenses in an angular shape.
As seen in these photos also, the 2011 BMW 5 Series will grow a couple of inches, but BMW still managed to keep the weight down by using extensive aluminum in the exterior panels. The control-arm front suspensions will replace the MacPherson Struts.
The next 5 Series will be using a new all-steel chassis and some special techniques are used to process the steel – a multi phase steel – tubes are made of thinner steel layers reinforced with some other composites – making them lighter yet stronger than classic steel tubes. As a result, the weight is quite reduced compared to a classic steel frame.
Many technologies found in the recently launched 7 Series will be reused in the 5: Integral Steering Package, Adaptive damping, sideview and night vision cameras or the head-up display.
The 2011 BMW 5 Series models will use some of the existing engines, starting with the 6-cylinder twin-turbo engine and of course, the powerful V8 twin-turbo. Diesel and hybrid versions will complete the line-up.
We expect the 2011 BMW 5 Series to be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show next Spring.[More Photos at AutomotiveTraveler ]