Some of the other prototypes get punished on the track.
While BMW is coming out with teasers of the next-gen 5 Series Sedan (G30), it’s also putting the finishing touches on its more practical counterpart, the Touring variant. Several near-production prototypes have been caught on camera in recent days by our spy photographers, and one of the test vehicles was seen getting a refill before heading to the Nürburgring.
At the same challenging track in Germany, a couple more prototypes of the Touring (G31) were being pushed hard by BMW’s test drivers to make sure the finished product will live up to the brand’s “ultimate driving machine” slogan. Despite being covered in camouflage, the prototypes come to reconfirm once again the styling won’t go through any significant changes. As a matter of fact, the updates are likely more suitable for a facelift rather than an entirely different generation.
But don’t let the familiar appearance trick you into believing it’ll be roughly the same car, because it won’t. Hiding underneath the evolutionary design is going to be a slightly larger, wider, and taller car, at least in sedan guise. Despite the increased footprint, the new 5 Series will actually be up to 220 pounds (100 kilograms) lighter thanks to the CLAR platform that made its debut in 2015 on the 7 Series. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to expect just about the same improvements on the Touring model as well.
If you’re not a big fan of wagons, but at the same time want more trunk space than the sedan has to offer, BMW will be happy to sell you a new Gran Turismo (G32) version which spy photos have shown it will look way better than the rather peculiar current-gen model.
The jump in size will have a positive impact inside the cabin where passengers sitting in the back will get to enjoy more room. It remains to be seen whether the Touring’s current cargo capacity of 19.7 cubic feet (560 liters) with the rear seats up and 59 cu. ft. (1,670 liters) with them folded will increase as a result of the body’s minor bump in size.
Motivation is going to be provided by a series of four- and six-cylinder turbocharged engines in both gasoline and diesel flavors. There’s also going to be a hot non-M model with the 4.4-liter V8 sourced from the 750i. Further down the line, the cream-of-the-crop BMW M5 will arrive with more than 600 horsepower and most likely an optional all-wheel drive system.
If you’re after fuel economy, the next 5 will borrow the hybrid tech from the 330e and will pair a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine with an electric motor. The latter will be installed within the gearbox, while the lithium-ion battery pack will sit underneath the trunk’s floor and is going to have enough juice for more than 20 miles (32 kilometers) which will be a minor improvement over the 330e's 14-mile EV range.
Sales of the sedan should kick off early next year, with the wagon version likely hitting dealerships by mid-2017. The aforementioned 5 Series GT will probably be introduced in the first half of 2018.