As early as July of this year, BMW has confirmed that the next-generation 5 Series is currently under development with a set of spy photos. More importantly, the volume-selling saloon isn't coming exclusively with a fossil fuel-sipping power plant – an all-electric version will come in tow and we've already seen several sightings of its development.

Believed to be named the BMW i5, the automaker was seen testing the all-electric 5 Series again in this set of spy images. The prototype looks like a regular 5er saloon, though it dons the "Electric Test Vehicle" decal and it doesn't have exhaust tips at the back.

Gallery: BMW i5 New Spy Shots

From what you can see in the spy shots, the BMW i5 isn't getting a gigantic grille – unlike the BMW i4 that reflects that styling of its ICE counterparts. This is hardly a surprise since the German marque is expected to play safe with one of its best-sellers.

Though still heavily concealed, we can see that BMW also keeps a single-tier headlight configuration for the i5, unlike the biggest SAV in the range, the X7, as well as the bigger 7 Series and i7 saloons. We'll also see this configuration in the upcoming X8, which could debut at the end of this month.

Powertrain details are scarce at this point, though there's a rumour that the hotter version of the i5, the i5 M, will be having three electric motors that produce a total output of 750 bhp. The i7 electric sedan could have the same configuration as well, although BMW has yet to confirm this information.

The next-generation 5 Series will ride on the BMW's CLAR platform, allowing it to accommodate the all-electric powertrain for the i5. With the current schedule, the automaker is expected to reveal the model by the second half of next year.