Another big unveil next year is the seventh generation BMW 5 Series. BMW’s core model, the 5er, went through a platform revamp and will land in showrooms next year to compete with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi S6. Prototypes featuring heavy camouflage tape and fake body panels are currently being tested in Germany, including the Nurburgring race track.
The new G30 family is built upon the originally called ‘35up’ platform, now CLAR, which will be found in the next 3, 5, 6 and 7 Series models. The platform mixes high-strength steel, aluminum and carbon fiber to drop around 80kg -100kg from today’s 5-series. CLAR, a contraction of Cluster Architecture, depicts the extra flexibility provided by fewer but more versatile submodules (clusters) which are more extensively adjustable in content, size and adaptability.
Even though the test mule is heavily covered with camouflage, we know that under neath front fascia will be sportier than the current F10 model with hood lines giving the G30 5 Series an aggressive and dynamic look. Some of the current BMW design features trickled their way into the G30 5 Series looks, starting with the headlights flowing into the kidney grille and the sporty character line flowing across the side of the car.
We expected to see a redesigned dashboard with the free-standing LCD display and tons of premium features currently found in higher-end models. We will see the new iDrive system with touchscreen and gesture-based functions, the over-the-air updates for the car and other gimmicks that will bring ConnectedDrive philosophy to a new level. Other features and options usually reserved for the 7 Series are likely to end up in the executive sedan.
For years, BMW has touted the importance of the three-cylinder engine, the “baby-six” modular plant, which can produce more than 200 horsepower. Even though some expected to see the 1.5 liter three-cylinder in the upcoming 3 Series facelift, BMW has scrapped those plans and will save the little but potent motor for the new 5 Series. The reduced mass of the new G30 5er will allow for an entry-level 518d to be powered by three-cylinder diesel producing 150 hp and delivering an impressive 72 mpg fuel efficiency.
BMW is grouping 500cc cylinders together to create three-, four- and six-pot engines, with 60% common parts. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder will power the 520d and 231 hp 525d, while the leading petrol four is a 272 hp 528i.
Engine size dictates which suspensions slot into place: smaller-engined 5-series share front axles with the next 3-series, but go for a six- or eight-cylinder 5-series and you’ll get the front axle from the next 7-series instead.
At the high-end of the new G30 lineup, we will continue to see the six-cylinder engines, in the 530i with 333 horsepower, 540i with 375 hp; and 286 hp 530d, 333 hp 535d and the tri-turbo M550d with 400 hp. The last one is rumored to now feature four turbochargers which should offer astonishing fuel efficiency. Multiple 5 Series hybrids with a four or six cylinder conventional engines are scheduled for production.
BMW will continue to offer three body styles in the G30 generation: sedan, touring and Gran Turismo.[Photos: Autogespot]