We are giddy with excitement to see the return of the M5 Touring for a third iteration (G99) but we’re in for a long wait as BMW will initially introduce the regular 5 Series Touring (G61) before coming out with the super wagon. The Mercedes E-Class Estate competitor has now been spotted with camouflage only on the rear half of the car. That makes sense since from the B-pillar forward, the more practical body style should be identical to the G60 sedan.
Eagle-eyed viewers will notice this isn’t a run-of-the-mill 5 Series Touring. Not only does it have the optional M Sport Package (M badge hiding beneath black tape on the front fenders) but it also has an extra fuel cap on the left side. That’s certainly a charging port on the front fender to juice up the battery, which in the sedan’s case has a usable capacity of 19.4 kWh and can be charged at up to 7.4 kW. With double the charging speed compared to its predecessor, the plug-in hybrid 5er needs three hours to fully charge the battery from 0%. Using a household socket, it takes nearly 10 hours.
BMW will be selling the plug-in hybrid sedan from spring 2024 in 530e and 550e xDrive flavors with a combined output of 299 hp for the former and 489 hp for the latter. The less potent four-cylinder PHEV is claimed to cover anywhere between 87 to 101 kilometers (54 to 62 miles) running solely on electric juice while the more powerful inline-six version will do 49 to 56 miles (79 to 90 kilometers) without sipping any gasoline. These range figures are applicable to the sedan and we’ll have to wait whether the wagon will match them given its slightly higher curb weight.
As far as performance is concerned, the 530e Touring should echo its sedan counterpart, which takes 6.4 seconds to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) and tops out at 143 mph (230 km/h) or 87 mph (140 km/h) in electric mode. Step up to the 550e xDrive sedan and the sprint is completed in just 4.3 seconds. In addition, the top speed increases to 155 mph (250 km/h) in hybrid mode but remains unchanged in EV mode, at 87 mph (140 km/h). Once again, the extra heft might make the wagon a tad slower but few will notice the difference.
The complete 5 Series Touring lineup will also include the purely electric i5, complete with an M60 version to complement the long-roof M5 with its electrified V8 allegedly making over 700 hp.