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Last month was the first time we spotted a camouflaged BMW 5 Series covered in just enough camouflage to suggest a mid-cycle refresh was on the way. It’s soon considering the current-generation 5 Series debuted only a few years ago for the 2017 model year. But here we are with a camouflaged nose and tail, “Hybrid Test Vehicle” sticker on the doors, and more questions than answers. The refreshed BMW 5 Series will receive new design cues along with the possibility of a more powerful hybrid model. 

Right now, there is a BMW 5 Series hybrid, the 530e, that makes a combined output of 248 horsepower (184 kilowatts). It does this by integrating an electric motor with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. However, its replacement seen above will likely use a detuned version of the powertrain in the BMW 745e xDrive iPerformance. It makes 389 hp (290 kW) from the combined plug-in hybrid powertrain and 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine. In the BMW, likely to be called the 545e, the powertrain will make around 375 hp (279 kW). 

The camouflaged ends hide revised bodywork. At the front, there should be a redesigned front bumper paired with new headlights. The rear should see a less drastic change with a revised design and new taillights. One mystery is whether BMW will enlarge the kidney bean grille as it has on other recent new models. It looks the same size as before, but BMW could change that before the reveal. The interior should also receive a minor update as well with the new design changes inside and out proliferating across the entire BMW 5 Series lineup. 

Gallery: 2021 BMW 5 Series Spy Photos

While we’re spotting prototypes now, the official reveal of the refreshed BMW 5 Series is still likely months away. We may not see the updated model until late 2020 or early 2021 as a possible 2021 model year vehicle. At that point, the 5 Series could begin feeling a bit old in the style department with the refreshed version ready for the spotlight. 

Photos: Automedia

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