Perhaps for efficiency testing of the cooling system, the shape of the characteristic BMW twin kidney grilles are in clear view.

In comparison to the F10 BMW 5-Series spy photos taken in February, these latest images recently snapped just outside Germany's Nürburgring race track show a Fiver prototype without its front grille camouflage and lower bumper grilles with a larger mesh pattern for better air flow. Perhaps for efficiency testing of the cooling system, the shape of the characteristic BMW twin kidney grilles are in clear view. Also showing are a set of big sporty wheels with low-profile tires not seen before on previous prototypes.

Overall the 5-Series is set to receive less adventurous styling along the lines of the conservative E90 3-Series while receiving some design cues, particularly in the rear, from the 7 Series.

Electronic features to name a few will include wide angle cameras in the side mirrors for greater overall visibility, upgraded iDrive user control system and enhanced Park Distance Control with visual display.

Set to debut on the new 7-Series, the F10 5-Series will receive a new 8-speed electronic automatic transmission for ultra smooth shifts and efficiency while the M5 will be the only 5 Series model to receive the new double clutch M-DCT sequential transmission which appears on the M3 later this year. Also, optional all-wheel-drive and a wide range of six petrol engines from the 2.5-liter 218hp to 4.4 liter V8 twin-turbo with 400hp found in the X6 and four diesels ranging from 2.0 liter 175hp to the twin turbo 286hp 3.0-liter inline 6.

With the current E60 5-Series on the market since 2004, the arrival of the F10 5er is still less than two years away with an expected launch in spring 2010 as a 2011 model and the M5 to follow a year later. Surely we can expect the 5 Series prototypes to gradually shed their camouflage over the next year.

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