The next-generation BMW 5 Series’ slow striptease is approaching its end, with the latest spied prototype featuring only light camouflage.

    Production headlight and tail light assemblies can be seen, as can the grille and other details.

    The new 5 Series is expected to be revealed in 2023 and launched later that year, and will – like the latest X1, X3 and 7 Series – spawn an electric version.

    The EV will be called the i5, and will be sold alongside combustion-powered and plug-in hybrid 5ers.

    Up front, the wide double-kidney grille remains, though there’s a thicker, closed-off section in the middle finished in both gloss black and metal-look trim. This is integrated fairly seamlessly with the rest of the grille.

    Each headlight assembly appears to feature two indicator elements, in addition to the low- and high-beam elements.

    Detractors of some of BMW’s latest design elements can breathe a sigh of relief – there’s no plunging, double-coffin grille like the 4 Series, M3 and M4, and no split-level lighting like the 7 Series and updated X7.

    There appears to be a diagonal crease running from the headlights to the lower air dam, aligning with the sloped sides of the grille. A similar design element appears on both the current 5 Series and the new 7 Series.

    As we’ve seen in previous spy photos, the new 5 Series has a slightly sleeker roofline than the current car.

    A piece of foil conceals the trailing edge of the greenhouse, but the belt line appears to have more of a kick-up than the current car.

    The rear deck appears to be roughly the same length as the current car, though there are slimmer tail lights if still with chunky LED graphics.

    Our previous spy photos have revealed the cabin of the next 5er will feature a dual-screen setup, as is quickly becoming the norm in BMW’s model range, with the latest iDrive 8 operating system.

    While the i5 will give BMW a direct rival for the likes of the Mercedes-Benz EQE and upcoming Audi A6 e-tron, the hot petrol-powered M5 will not go gentle into that good night.

    It’s expected to borrow the plug-in hybrid V8 powertrain of the upcoming XM SUV, which produces total system outputs of 480kW of power and 800Nm of torque while boasting a claimed electric-only WLTP range of 80km.

    The XM has a hybrid-specific M xDrive all-wheel drive system which includes an electronic rear differential lock in the rear axle transmission.

    The current-generation BMW 5 Series has been on sale since 2016 and was facelifted in 2020.

    Its arch-rival, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, is also set to be revealed in redesigned form next year.

    MORE: Everything BMW 5 Series

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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