The BMW 5 Series sedan is getting a mid-cycle update for 2021, and depending on one’s point of view, the updated styling looks either refreshingly restrained or unimaginative. The midsize sedan will make its official debut on May 27 in Korea, alongside a likewise-facelifted 6 Series Gran Turismo.
Based on the shadowy teaser BMW Korea posted on Instagram, the life cycle impulse (or LCI, BMW-speak for facelift) 5 Series will retain surprisingly understated styling, particularly the kidney grille. Although a bit larger (and reshaped to recall the 8 Series), the 5er’s new air inlets aren’t nearly as extreme as those of the refreshed 7 Series.
BMW Korea also released a very heritage-friendly teaser video on Instagram, showing each previous generation of 5 Series in rapid succession before offering up a silhouette of the G30 LCI. The current 5 Series marked something of a return to form for the nameplate, with more athletic handling and cleaner styling than the car it replaced. The facelift likely won’t buck the trend, although don’t be surprised to see added power and torque.
The base 530i will likely get a power boost from its 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, going from 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet (185 kilowatts and 350 newton-meters) to 255 hp and 295 lb-ft (190 kW and 400 Nm). The 540i’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six will likely give way to the latest version of that engine, found under the hood of the 2019 BMW M340i where it makes 382 hp and 369 lb-ft (285 kW and 500 Nm).
We’re not so sure about the M550i and its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 – it might soldier on unchanged, making 523 hp and 553 lb-ft (390 kW and 750 Nm). The top-dog BMW M5 will also likely retain the same BMW M–tuned 4.4-liter V8, which makes 591 hp and 553 lb-ft (441 kW and 790 Nm) in standard form, with power output rising to 617 hp (460 kW) on the M5 Competition.
The current 5 Series (codenamed G30) has been sold in the US since the 2017 model year, with the unusual, hatchback-shaped 6 Series Gran Turismo following a year later. BMW announced last year that the 6 Series Gran Turismo would not return to the company’s U.S. lineup for 2020, and we don’t think the refresh will change that decision (though it will continue to be offered in other markets).