Sensor-packed robot arms create a three-dimensional image of the car.
Codenamed G30, the next-generation 5-Series Sedan will not be revealed this year, but at least BMW is making the wait a tad easier by releasing pseudo teasers. Here we have a camouflaged near-production prototype of the executive midsize sedan flanked by large robotic arms. These are fitted with a number of sensors in charge of generating a 3D image of the car which serves as foundation for a three-dimensional data model with an accuracy of less than 100 µm (0.1 millimeters). Doing so allows BMW to spot even the tiniest deviations in an early stage and then iron these out to boost the car’s overall quality.
The 2017 5-Series will actually be the first car in the world to take advantage of the technology and BMW has been using it since last year in Munich for individual sheet-metal parts and tool inspection. Now, a car is the subject of the fully-automated optical measuring cell to help BMW remove all the quirks before 5-Series’ production debut.
While we had our hopes to see the car at the beginning of October in Paris, the latest report indicates BMW will unveil the next 5-Series in January 2017 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The sedan will be the first to come out and is going to be followed several months later by the wagon and eventually by a new Gran Turismo since people in China love it.
The design will basically be an evolution of today’s model, but that won’t be the case with the underpinnings since the new 5 will switch to the CLAR platform that has underpinned the flagship 7. That should bring an estimated weight loss of around 220 pounds (100 kilograms) which will improve not only efficiency, but also performance.