The forthcoming BMW 5 Series Touring has begun testing on wintry German roads, giving a first look at Munich’s hugely successful estate car.
The new electric i5 Touring, spotted testing by our spy photographers, marks the fifth generation since the full-size estate was launched in 1991. The EV variant will be joined by petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid variants as well as the saloon bodystyle arriving in 2024.
The new Touring is expected to be available with the usual raft of practicality we’ve come to expect from such a competitive market. While BMW could not comment on boot space and legroom, we suspect the new estate will be a slight improvement on the current car’s 560 litres (with the seats raised) and competitive with the 480 litres on offer in the Mercedes E-Class Estate.
There is little to confirm whether or not the introduction of a full-electric powertrain has affected interior space, but with the new BMW i7 losing 40 litres in boot space over its PHEV cousin, a sacrifice in some practicality is to be expected.
BMW is still to confirm if the 5 Series Touring will share its underpinnings with other models, however the current car shares the same CLAR architecture that underpins the new BMW 4 Series, therefore its larger sibling could offer a similar powertrain line-up if it uses the same platform.
As such, the standard i5 Touring could be offered in rear- and four-wheel drive guise with outputs ranging from 335bhp to 536bhp, the latter essentially creating an all-electric BMW M5 Touring. If it follows the same nomenclature as the BMW i4, we expect e40 and M50 nameplates to be regurgitated for both the 5 Series saloon and Touring editions.
The i4 makes use of an 80.7kWh battery pack, charging at up to 210kW. This allows for a maximum official range of between 255 and 367 miles.
Outside, photographs reveal an updated, sleeker headlamp design and covered kidney grilles which don’t extend beyond the front number plate (ie vertical), as on the current BMW M3 and 4 Series.
At the rear, the headlamps retain BMW’s signature ‘L’ shape and the door handles are flush with the bodywork, as on the new BMW 2 Series. Joining these are BMW’s new-style door mirrors, as seen on the new BMW M240i.
Also recently captured by our photographers was the 5 Series saloon on test at the Nurburgring.
Due in 2024, it will also feature a more sedate front-end layout with blanked-off kidney grilles for the electric i5 edition, leaving out BMW’s controversial ‘vertical’ kidney grilles for its huge-hitting family saloon.
A full unveiling of the new 5 Series saloon is expected some time in 2023, ahead of a market launch in 2024.
The Touring and saloon i5 will join BMW’s ever-expanding EV range, including the arrival of the new BMW i7 flagship EV, the BMW iX and BMW iX1 SUVs and the BMW i4 saloon.
Combustion-engined cars that are central to the firm’s range will also gain fully-electric editions just as the BMW X3-based BMW iX3 and 4 Series-based i4 did.
BMW is currently working toward its 2023 goal of offering at least one fully electric model in every segment alongside a commitment to selling more than seven million plug-in hybrid and pure-electric vehicles by the end of 2030.