BMW’s three core sedans are all due for an update as the 3 Series LCI will be followed by the next-generation 7 Series and the new 5 Series. The latter has now been spotted roaming the streets of Munich in multiple configurations as some had a traditional powertrain while others featured a plug-in hybrid setup. Since the debut won’t happen anytime soon, there’s still a lot of testing that needs to be done to iron out all the kinks before pressing the start button on production.

It goes without saying BMW isn’t eager to reveal any design details, which is why these test vehicles are all covered in thick camouflage and feature provisional lights both front and rear. If you’ve been waiting for a bit more variety among the company’s most important sedans, we are happy to report the new 5er (G80) will have a completely different front fascia compared to the next 7er (G70). That’s because the smaller of the two saloons appears to be skipping the already controversial split headlight arrangement previewed by the Concept XM.

In other words, we are seemingly getting the impression BMW’s design team will be playing it safe, unless the disguise is tricking us into believing it’s more of the same. We do notice the flush door handles and a more rakish rear pillar making the back of the 5er look a tad shorter and therefore sportier.

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The grille appears to have a normal size (well, at least in comparison to other recent BMWs) and some of the prototypes were hiding a subtle trunk lid spoiler. The plug-in hybrids will have the charging port on the left-front fender, while the bulge on the trunk lid might be for an LED light strip since these are all the rage among car designers.

Overall, we are getting a strong vibe of a more athletic 5 Series that gives the illusion of a smaller car, even though that’s unlikely to be the case. The spy video shot in Germany doesn’t have footage of the interior, but previous photographs of test vehicles confirmed the side-by-side screen setup planned for BMWs will the iDrive 8 infotainment.

Aside from traditional and plug-in hybrid powertrains, BMW is also planning the first-ever fully electric 5 Series. It’s expected to go by the “i5” moniker and slot above the already released “i4” and next year’s i7. Speaking of zero-emissions sedans, the long-wheelbase 3 Series for China will soon spawn an EV variant that will be called “i3,” suggesting the end is nigh for the namesake quirky hatchback.

With the new 3 Series LCI and next-gen 7 Series both coming next year, BMW could wait a bit and decide to unveil the revamped 5er in early 2023.

[Source: CarSpyMedia / YouTube] [Rendering by]