As 2022 draws to a close, BMW is gradually turning its attention to an equally busy next year. Company chairman Oliver Zipse traveled to South Korea – the automaker’s fifth-largest market – to take part in an event dedicated to the local launch of the 7 Series G70 and its fully electric i7 sibling. At one point during his speech, the 58-year-old executive briefly talked about the next-generation 5 Series.
Codenamed G60 for the Sedan and G61 for the Touring, the eighth iteration of the Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6 rival will be offered with all four types of powertrains: gasoline, diesel, plug-in hybrid, and electric. The latter will be badged as an “i5,” thus mirroring the automaker’s other two electric sedans – the globally available i7 and China-only i3.
Oliver Zipse said providing a diversified drivetrain lineup offers the “greatest benefit to climate protection” instead of focusing solely on battery-powered EVs. He also reminded the gathered audience that BMW has commenced production of the iX5 Hydrogen of which several examples will arrive in South Korea next year. Previously, the BMW chairman told Nikkei Asia the German luxury brand will have a “viable hydrogen car” on sale by 2030.
Latest reports indicate BMW aims to start production of the new 5 Series Sedan in July 2023, with the Touring to follow in March 2024. In July and November of the same year, the M5 Sedan (G90) and M5 Touring (G91) are scheduled to reach the assembly line, respectively. It is believed the range-topping model will be the only 5er version to have a V8. The new “S68” twin-turbo 4.4-liter unit will be part of a plug-in hybrid setup capable of delivering a combined output of over 700 horsepower.
We won’t have to wait until 2024 for the i5 since BMW is expected to offer the electric sedan right from the start, thus mirroring the 7 Series / i7 and the X1 / iX1. A juicy rumor points to an i5 Touring arriving at a later date, but nothing is official at this point. In China, a long-wheelbase 5 Series Sedan (G68) is set to arrive in the first half of 2024.
Source: BMW South Korea / YouTube