The facelifted BMW 5 Series has only just gone on sale, but our spies have snapped the next-generation saloon and Touring estate, due in summer 2016.
The cars were caught outside BMW’s R&D base in Munich, Germany, with the four-door’s Pirelli Sotto Zero 19-inch winter tyres an indication that this test mule is heading to the frozen lakes of Sweden for cold-weather testing.
There, engineers will rate the car’s new powertrains. Three hybrid options are likely, including a plug-in borrowing tech from the forthcoming X5 eDrive SUV. Under the disguise, the car is expected to get a more striking look, with a shorter, 4 Series-inspired nose.
Expect advanced tech from the new 7 Series, due in 2015, like accident avoidance systems and semi-autonomous driving for motorway journeys. The new 5 will continue to share the 6 and 7 Series’ platform.
This is expected to be related to the current car’s, but greater use of aluminium and carbon fibre-reinforced plastic body parts – as in the BMW i3 – will help cut weight and emissions. Boosting efficiency will be the aerodynamic Air Breather in the wing, plus a new smartphone sat-nav app provides routes that take in public transport or walking.