In case you've missed the memo, BMW has been using a new tagline: "The Power of Choice." While it might make you think of Kia's old "Power to Surprise" slogan, Bavaria's message is not as vague as these types of mottos usually are. It refers to selling a car with all types of powertrains: petrol, diesel, hybrid/plug-in hybrid, and EV. One such example is the X3 / iX3, with the new 7 Series debuting 20 April to offer a vast array of powertrains.
It'll be the same story with the next-generation X1 arriving by the end of the year, but we're here to talk about the new 5 Series. Our spies have gathered footage taken in different locations depicting several prototypes. We can see the combustion-engined 5er, the plug-in hybrid, and the purely electric i5. They all look just about the same since the 5 Series and i5 will share the same CLAR platform. Mercedes has taken a different approach as its S-Class and EQS ride on different architectures, with the latter featuring bespoke EV underpinnings.
Gallery: BMW i5 New Spy Shots
Even though these test vehicles have multiple layers of disguise to conceal the production design, we can already tell the 5 Series / i5 will not get the gigantic grille of the next 7 Series and XM. Those headlights and taillights are placeholders, but since the body panels won't change, the provisional clusters have the same shape as the final ones.
The flush door handles resemble those of the i4 and should help with airflow for better efficiency. The new 5 Series appears to have a sharper design and we're getting the impression it boasts rear-wheel steering. Spies weren't able to take a peek inside, but previous shots have shown a revamped dashboard to accommodate the iDrive 8 setup with its side-by-side screens. BMW has said it will eventually have this layout across all models.
During the annual BMW Group conference held yesterday, the company announced pre-production of the i5 will commence this year. It could mean the next 5 Series will be available with all forms of propulsion from day one when it'll go on sale in 2023. A similar strategy is being worked on for the 7 Series / i7 and the X1 / iX1 pairs.
Likely arriving in 2024 or early 2025, the M5 will retain its V8 engine, but with an electric motor to push combined output to around 750 bhp. A more accurate horsepower number will be available by the end of this year when the wild XM SUV will break cover in production guise.