With increasingly tighter emissions regulations in the European Union, automakers who call the Old Continent home are developing more and more electrified vehicles to avoid paying hefty fines. BMW is a relevant example by offering not only pure EVs but also plug-in hybrids and mild-hybrid vehicles. The next-generation 5 Series will have them all by living up to the company’s “power of choice” ethos.
A montage of spy videos recorded at the Nürburgring puts the focus on the plug-in hybrid prototypes that were caught recently undergoing testing. Mirroring the strategy used for the 7 Series, the smaller sedan will look virtually the same regardless of whether we’re talking about ICE, PHEV, or EV variants. All will ride on an evolution of the omnipresent CLAR platform that has also underpinned an i3 Sedan in China.
The work-in-progress vehicles are all heavily camouflaged and are missing the production headlights and taillights. That said, traditionalists can take comfort from knowing BMW won’t make drastic changes to the 5 Series. The G60 generation should look a little bit sharper than today’s model, but without going the 7er’s route by adopting an oversized kidney grille flanked by split headlights.
Even the mighty M5 will be of the plug-in hybrid variety, and thankfully, that won’t mean downsizing the combustion engine. The twin-turbo V8 4.4-liter will still be under the super sedan’s hood, but it’ll be the new S68 mild-hybrid unit already installed in the likes of the X7 M60i and 760i. The fully electric i5 will be available from day one, with rumors about an i5 Touring suggesting it could arrive as early as 2024.
As usual, there will be a locally produced 5 Series long wheelbase model for the Chinese market. It’s going to carry the G68 internal codename and will be offered in EV guise as well. Without a shadow of a doubt, the most exciting member of the family will be the G99, a yet-to-be-confirmed M5 Touring seemingly earmarked for the US market.
The standard sedan is scheduled to enter production roughly a year from now, so look for BMW to take the wraps off the next-gen 5 Series Sedan in the first months of 2023.
Source: Motor.TV / YouTube