The eighth-generation BMW 5 Series (G60) will premiere in the coming months, complete with a first-ever i5. Bavaria's answer to the Mercedes EQE has been officially confirmed to spawn an M Performance version and it's widely believed to get the i5 M60 suffix. The Munich-based automaker has already announced an i5 Touring is slated for a 2024 release, and in the meantime, our car paparazzi have spoted the electric estate testing in northern Europe.
Judging by the large front brake and red callipers at both axles, we might be looking at the hotter i5 M60. At the very least, it has the M Sport Package because we can see the M badge hiding behind camo on the front wings/fenders. The "world's most powerful letter" also adorns the two-tone wheels wrapped in winter tyres. Upon closer inspection, we're noticing one of the prototypes has the sporty-looking side mirrors that used to be reserved for full-fat M models before trickling down to M Performance cars in recent years.
2024 BMW i5 Touring spy photos
If you're wondering why the overhangs are so long for an EV, it's because the i5 shares the same CLAR platform with the combustion-engined 5 Series. Even though the prototype is heavily camouflaged, it's easy to see BMW has played it safe with the design of its next 5 Series Touring. Codenamed G61, the posh estate sends a bit of an E60 vibe at the front where the headlights are a one-piece cluster and flank a normal kidney grille.
These test vehicles had the full production body with flush door handles and wide taillights. Here's hoping the German automaker will retain the separate tailgate glass opening for extra practicality. Typical for an estate, it has a generous greenhouse for excellent outward visibility. Those "Electrified Vehicle" stickers and the closed-off grille confirm we're dealing with an EV.
In some of the images, we can take a peek inside the cabin and check out the upper side of the revamped dashboard. The 2024 5 Series will be the first BMW to use the iDrive 8.5 infotainment system, featuring side-by-side screens as on nearly all existing models but with the latest software. Expect the centre console to have few conventional buttons as access to most functions – including those for the HVAC – will be moved to the touchscreen. In the 2 Series Coupe and larger models, there's a 14.9-inch centre display and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
The next-gen 5 Series Touring will not only get the i5 electric treatment but will also mark the return of the M5 Touring. Codenamed G99 (M5 Saloon is G90), the speedy estate is due around 2025.