New BMW 5 Series Preparing To Battle Mercedes E-Class

Spy Shots / Comments

Here's your first look at the new combustion-powered BMW 5 Series.

The 2021 Munich Motor Show is underway, but that doesn't mean automakers stop working on new models. At the show, BMW presented the peculiar i Vision Curulcar Concept, a car made from completely recyclable materials envisioned for the year 2040. As the show continues, our spy photographers have spotted two prototypes of the next-generation BMW 5 Series being put through their paces on the roads of Munich.

One of them is the same plug-in hybrid prototype we've seen before but the other is our first look at the combustion-powered version, although there are no visual differences aside from the lack of a charging port.

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Both prototypes still have provisional headlights and taillights that look longer and slimmer than the lights on the current-generation car. The kidney grilles could also be slightly larger, but we aren't expecting them to be as large as the grille on the new 4 Series. This latest prototype sighting inspired artist Magnus.Concepts to mock up a render showing what the final production model could look like with these evolutionary styling changes.

A close-up shot of the passenger-side door also gives us a peek at the interior, which appears to have the same layout as the iX incorporating a large dual screen for the infotainment display with BMW's latest iDrive system and digital instrument cluster.

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In terms of powertrains, the next-generation BMW 5 Series will be offered as a traditional combustion sedan, a plug-in hybrid, and a fully electric model that will reportedly be called the i5. In its current form, the 5 Series is offered with a 2.0-liter turbo-four rated at 248 hp and 258 lb-ft, a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder with 335 hp and 331 lb-ft, and a 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 producing 523 hp and 553 lb-ft.

Now that road testing of the new 5 Series has begun, we should start seeing more prototypes on the road before the production model debuts in 2023 and goes on sale for the 2024 model year to take on the next-generation Mercedes E-Class, followed by the next-generationM5.

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