We like the current BMW 5 Series. In fact, we like it so much that we awarded it a five-star rating, while its rivals, such as the Audi A6, Mercedes E-Class and Jaguar XF only score four. It's also our current Large Executive Car of the Year.
These leaked images - which originated in China - have given us our first official glimpse of the new 5 Series. The pictures, which are understood to be official, reveal that the new 5 Series has been given the same styling cues as the larger 7 Series.
Here's everything we know about the new BMW 5 Series so far.
What is the new BMW 5 Series?
Initially, the new car will be available only as a saloon, but a Touring estate version will follow shortly afterwards. There will also be a new generation of the 5 Series GT, although that will arrive further down the line.
What engines will be available in the new BMW 5 Series?
BMW has yet to confirm exactly which engines are coming to the next 5 Series, but inside sources tell us that both petrol and diesel engines with four and six cylinders will be used, just like today’s model.
New to the 5 Series range will be a plug-in hybrid, which will share components with other hybrids in the BMW line-up, such as the 330e, 740e and X5 xDrive40e. It will feature a 2.0-litre petrol engine mated to an electric motor, which can drive the car on battery power alone for more than 20 miles.
As with previous BMW 5 Series models, the range will be topped by a performance-orientated M5 variant. The 2017 M5 will have a turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine with a power output approaching 600bhp.
What will the interior of the new BMW 5 Series look like?
As rivals feature increasingly plush and attractive interiors in their large executive cars, the 5 Series will follow suit. The 2017 5 Series will adopt digital instruments, while the central touchscreen will be a free-standing unit, much like the one seen in the latest 7 Series.
The overall look of the interior will depend greatly on what spec you decide to choose for your 5 Series, with higher-specification versions inevitably getting more technology and plusher materials. The new 5 Series looks to draw heavily from the interior design of the 7 Series.
What else is new on the BMW 5 Series?
BMW will put self-driving technologies into the next 5 Series, allowing the car, under the right circumstances and below a certain speed, to take control of the steering, acceleration and braking. A similar system is already in place on the 5 Series’s fiercest rival, the Mercedes E-Class.
BMW will also upgrade the iDrive infotainment system to the same type used on the current 7 Series. The added function of being able to control this with hand gestures will be an optional extra.
When will the new BMW 5 Series go on sale?
Sales of the saloon will commence in early 2017. Meanwhile, the 5 Series Touring is due to make its first appearance shortly after the saloon goes on sale, with orders opening a few weeks later. The GT variant, which BMW says will offer all the qualities of an SUV, estate car and saloon without conforming to the shape of any of them, will come later in 2017.
How much will the new BMW 5 Series cost?
We expect a slight price increase with the introduction of the new 5 Series. BMW won’t say how much at this stage, but a £32,000 starting price is likely for the entry-level, 2.0-litre diesel saloon, with the estate's price increasing by £1000 compared with the saloon.
Running costs are set to tumble, however; the 5 Series will share the lightweight structure underneath its body shell with the 7 Series, which should make it around 100kg lighter overall. This will bring up fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions, even though the car is to grow in size slightly.
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