They look quite similar, but plenty's been changed under the skin.
By now, everyone's seen the first official photos of the new, 'G30' generation of BMW 5 Series. And, for the most part, the reception on how it moves the game on from its 'F10' predecessor has been pretty positive - you can tell a car's good at first glance when one of its only criticisms is that the interior's quite similar to the more opulent 7 Series. However, it's only when you directly cross-examine the two most recent 5 Series iterations that you realize just how big a leap forward the G30 is.
Of course, beauty is entirely subjective, but we're certain many of you share the opinion that the G30 is far more aesthetically cohesive inside and out than its predecessor. For sure, it's not a revolution, but the new 5 Series didn't need to re-write the rule book when it came to executive sedan styling, and we personally think the more muscular styling cues (ranging from the more obvious details, like the wider kidney grilles and the broader taillights, to more subtle snippets like the extra flaring on the front fender) work rather well on an otherwise very smart and sensible premium car.
Perhaps the big talking point about the new BMW 5 Series, though, is the cabin. To us, it's the most obvious area where the G30 sets itself apart from the F10 - in fact, it looks an awful lot like the more expensive 7 Series to our eyes, with the only big differentiating factor we can deduce from the official images is the re-positioned center console that's angled more towards the driver. Of course, we're well aware that big leaps in interior fit and finish levels between generations are standard fare, but - even factoring in the six years the current F10 car's been on sale - we're still mightily impressed with what's been showcased so far.
Other details that we can't quite comment with authority on until we experience the car for ourselves, but are still mightily intrigued by, are the under-the-skin bits. For instance, managing to shave 137 pounds off the kerb weight is a mighty achievement on BMW's part (especially when you consider this new, lighter platform eschews the 7 Series trend of utilizing carbon fiber), and should hopefully result in improved efficiency, even better handling dynamics and superior ride comfort levels. Oh, and fingers crossed a new M5 that tips the scales in the 4,200 lbs category (yes, we're aware that's not exactly light, but it's much better than the nigh-on two ton car we currently have access to).
Clearly there is quite a fair bit to distinguish the F10 and G30 generations of BMW 5 Series apart from one another, contrary to the 'Russian Doll approach to styling' criticisms being levelled at the latter. The technology underpinning the new 5er seems quite intriguing (whether it's the new platform or the myriad safety features we mentioned in our original article on the G30), enough exterior details have been altered to distinguish it from the F10 and only those who are downgrading from Bentleys and Rolls-Royces would find anything to complain about with regards to the interior design and quality. Can you tell we're quite looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the new 5 Series?