The next-generation BMW 5 Series has been under development for the last several months and we’ve seen many prototypes testing on public roads. Today marks the first time in which we can show you photos of the new 5 as an estate which is marketed as the 5 Series Touring in Europe. This is a heavily camouflaged trial vehicle but there are interesting facts we can already share about the new estate.

This is a static prototype caught by our photographers sitting next to a camouflaged Mini and what appears to be a two-door Rolls-Royce, likely the Spectre. Our spies tell us the estate remained static for the entire day hence we only have these few photos of it. Nevertheless, the shots show a 5 Series Touring that doesn’t look all that different compared to today’s model and that’s probably good news.

Gallery: BMW 5 Series Touring PHEV first spy photos

While the estate is virtually dead in the United States, there’s still a market for these practical vehicles on the Old continent. Thankfully, BMW will keep the traditional estate shape for the new 5er as visible in these photos, which likely means the practicality won’t be sacrificed in the name of more extravagant styling. In the era of weird-looking SUVs like the iX, we are happy to see the Bavarian firm will continue the line of the old-school family estate.

The Electrified Vehicle sticker on the front door tells us this is most likely a plug-in hybrid vehicle. It could also be the rumoured i5 Touring – a luxury all-electric estate from Munich – but it hasn’t been confirmed for now. Plus, there’s what appears to be a fuel cap on the right rear quarter panel and this is the position where the fuel caps on all previous combustion-powered 5 Series prototypes were located.

The future looks exciting for the 5 Series Touring. A hybrid model is obviously under development and the mentioned i5 Touring could join the range as the first mainstream luxury electric estate if we don’t count the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo. Even more interestingly, BMW recently hinted it is planning a competitor for the Audi RS6 and Mercedes-AMG E63 in the form of an M5 Touring.