Next BMW 5 Series sharpens up act

Next BMW 5 Series
Credits: Christian Schulte
26 Mar, 2014 10:27am Luke Madden

Exclusive: We reveal evolutionary look that aims to keep new BMW 5 Series ahead of next Mercedes E-Class

One of the UK’s best-selling executive cars, the BMW 5 Series, is set for an overhaul in 2016 – just in time to take the fight to a brand new Mercedes E-Class.

As you can see from our exclusive images, a styling rethink isn’t top of the list of priorities. The new model is set to retain a familiar profile, with refinements to the details helping to create a more modern, premium look that’s a bit sportier than the current-generation 5 Series. BMW knows full well that buyers in this class don’t want radical styling.

Key to the 5 Series’ appeal has always been its sharp handling, and the company is looking to improve things further with a new lightweight platform that can be tweaked to underpin anything from the 3 Series to the 7 Series.

By using more high-strength steels, aluminium and carbon fibre-reinforced plastic, BMW will hope to cut the kerbweight by about 100kg.
As well as improving agility, the new, lightweight materials should help stiffen up the 5 Series even further.

Under the bonnet will be BMW’s range of modular engines, built up of 500cc cylinders. These are already found in the MINI, with the 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, plus the 2.0-litre four-cylinder in the Cooper S. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel will power the ever-popular 520d, and BMW is weighing up whether buyers will be willing to drive a three-cylinder 5 Series.

Either way, the cleanest diesels are expected to dip below 100g/km, while plug-in hybrids will be offered for the first time on the 5. These will use a similar set-up to the BMW i8 supercar, which combines a 1.5-litre engine and an electric motor. The new M5 will get a refined 4.4-litre V8.

BMW sees a hi-tech future in store for the 5 Series, based around connectivity and semi-autonomous driving. We rode in a prototype last year that could take control on the motorway – knowing when to overtake, when to move out of the way of cars joining from slip roads and recognising that it couldn’t undertake. BMW said at the time the tech was around two years away, and providing there’s a change in the law, it will be offered on the next 5 Series.

If you want to do all the driving yourself, the 5 Series will have a raft of aids to make things easier. One pre-selects a lower gear as you approach a slower car and changes down as soon as you indicate.

Every 5 Series sold will come Internet-enabled and fitted with a SIM card to let drivers access apps on the go, such as music streaming services and Google search or just turn on the heating or air-con from your smartphone.

The saloon will arrive first – it’s expected in summer 2016, with prices starting from around £33,000. But it’ll be followed by a family of 5 Series models.

New BMW 6 Series

As with the current line-up, the 6 Series will essentially be the two-door coupe version of the 5 Series. Flagship M6 will get the same 4.4-litre V8 twin-turbo as the M5.

New BMW 5 Series Touring

Mercedes’ E-Class Estate has always lead the way for space, so BMW will want its all-new Touring to close the gap. Expect optional air-suspension to compensate for heavy loads.

New BMW 5 Series GT

The current Gran Turismo isn’t the sales success BMW had hoped, but flexibility of the new platform makes it easier to stretch wheelbase and widen tracks to create this more luxurious 5 Series.

Pictures: Christian Schulte

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A 1.5 3 cylinder on a 5 series ?? lol PMSL

Although I usually hate the mockups done by AE, the 6 series coupe actually looks decent

People criticize VW Group products for all looking alike and being bland etc, but BMW surely deserves that award. You cannot tell a 2 series from a 3, 4 or 5 series!

It's 2014. If it makes the power necessary then it's good enough. This b38 engine makes a lot of 2litre 4cyl engines look a bit pathetic. Whilst being much lighter.

Unless you consider yourself a better engineer than the ones that BMW pay a lot of Euros to.


I like Next BMW 5 Series sharpens up act

I always find it amusing that a German manufacturer comes out with stuff like cars that can drive themselves etc, etc and UK german obsessed magazines lap it up likes it's ground breaking.... Volvo has been doing this for years as has Honda, and many others. Wasn't the first self-parking car the Lexus LS?

Agree on the 6 series coupe though, hope that's what it does look like rather than the current bloated looking one.

Oh, I didn't realise that BMW were changing their range so they only offer a single engine.

But really, even Americans are not so stupid to choose a car with less power from more fuel because they don't like a couple of numbers.

True, but unlike VW/Audi products, BMW's look cool, are not driven by morons and fantastic to live with (the thinking persons vehicle of choice)...

No they may not.......someone tell me why the Mondeo 1.0 isn't sold in US or the Lexus IS300h & the biggest engine civic in UK/Europe is 1.8 (atleast until arrival of the forthcoming CTR 2.0 soon) & the base civic tin the US is a 1.8 whereas a 2.4 is their flagship high performance Si model and would this be a CTR beater ? no. not even close !

I wish they'd do a 2.5 straight 5 based on that modular design - the fair compromise.

But it's not about numbers, or counting the lumps in the manifold. It's about refinement and the audible quality. A BMW straight 6 is a wonderful thing to spend time with. 30mpg+ in a £30k+ car is fine.

If you cannot tell the difference between a 2 series and the 3 series (ok 4 is coupe version of the 3 so not counted) or the 5 series then i think you need to go to specsavers!

The Mondeo is sold in the US and is called the Fusion. This car was supposed to replace the Mondeo in the UK but we're still waiting nearly two years for it.

The base mondeo or Fusion in the US is a 1.5 model to 2.5 as their top model (doubt UK or Europe will get the 2.5 once the new mondeo is here) cant see the US getting the 1.0 though ! even their Fiesta and Focus don't have the 1.0 !

So what your saying is you drive a Golf?

Far from it, MINI Cooper for work, Land Rover for the weekend and old Alfa Spider for a bit of fun.

I stopped buying BMs after Chris Bungle took control of design.
Looks like it's time to return.