Much is being said about the BMW i7 at the moment, with the release of the upcoming 7 Series imminent. The i7 is going to be a massively important car for the brand, acting as its technological, luxury, and electric flagship. That’s a lot to put on one car’s shoulders. However, another potentially equally important car will be the upcoming BMW i5, based off of the next-gen 5 Series. Some new spy photos show off the next-gen i5 doing some camouflaged testing in public.

We know this is the BMW i5, rather than a regular old 5 Series because of its big “Electric Test Vehicle” decals. It also lacks exhaust pipes, which isn’t something BMW does on internal combustion cars. Aside from that, though, it’s hard to make out any meaningful details. The car is wrapped in too much camouflage and even has very visible fake panels added to the body, so as to obscure its true design.

However, there are a few things we can see, even if just a bit. The headlights seem to be a bit swoopy, judging by the hoodline, and even remind me a bit of the E60’s headlights. You can also sort of see the kidney grille outlines through the camo, though it’s tough to truly make out their shape, and they seem to be big but not overly so. It seems as if BMW is keeping the 5 Series a bit more reserved than its toothy 7 Series sibling.

Photo provided by

Out back, there’s really no point in even looking. There’s so much camo and potentially fake body panels that you can’t make out a damn thing. Even the Hofmeister Kink is covered by a fake panel. Though, you can see the flush door handles, which are in keeping with cars like the i4, 4 Series Gran Coupe, and even the 2 Series.

When the BMW i5 debuts, it’s going to be an important car for the brand. The 5 Series is a staple of the BMW lineup and one of the most popular cars it sells. If BMW can keep the i5’s pricing in line with the rest of its EVs; in which the electric models are priced similarly to their gas equivalents; then the i5 will find a lot of customers, likely far more than the i7. So if BMW wants to gain some EV popularity, the i5 might be its best bet.