BMW previews next-generation 5 Series, confirms EV variant

BMW's eighth-generation 5 Series is due out before the end of 2023, and it sounds like the Munich-based carmaker has major changes in store for the model. The global lineup will include gasoline-, diesel- and hybrid-powered versions as well as electric variant named i5.

We'll need to be patient to find out what direction designers took the next-generation 5 Series in, because the only official photo available shows the big sedan under a sheet. Earlier spy shots suggest the next 5 Series gets a relatively muscular-looking front end that gives it a more conventional look than the 7 Series, the same basic proportions as its predecessor, and rear lights inspired by its bigger sibling's.

Inside, the new 5 will receive the familiar Curved Display currently found in the iX, among other models, and the iDrive 8.5 infotainment system. We're told the model is being engineered to offer a wider spread between performance and comfort. Gasoline- and hybrid-powered models will return to the United States, the diesels will be for overseas markets, and the electric i5 will go against the Mercedes-Benz EQE.

BMW boss Oliver Zipse also announced that an M-branded model will be part of the electric side of the lineup. It will be to the i5 what the M50 trim is to the i4, so it won't be a full-blown M car developed as a battery-powered alternative to the M5. And, looking further ahead, the range will again gain combustion- and battery-powered versions of the Touring wagon. There's no word yet on whether we'll see it here.

More details about the next-generation 5 Series and its numerous offshoots will emerge in the coming months. Built in Dingolfing, Germany, the sedan is scheduled to make its global debut in October 2023, while the Touring will be unveiled in the spring of 2024.

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