By Eric Weiner - Automobile Magazine
Our spy shooters snapped shots of the next BMW 5 Series out testing on public roads in Europe, this time in M Sport trim. We still can’t make out much due to the heavy camouflage, but it doesn’t look like there will be any surprises when the 2017 BMW 5 Series is finally revealed.
The general shape of the BMW 5 Series sedan won’t change too much from today’s model. Aside from new head- and taillights, slight resurfacing of body panels, and an upgraded interior, it’s likely to be more an evolution of the F10-gen 5 Series we know. The version we spotted is sure to be the M Sport, owing to its wider front air intakes, bigger wheels, and upgraded brakes.
Inside the cabin, the BMW 5 Series is also sticking to what it knows. The familiar split gauge cluster dominates the driver’s view through the opening in a sporty three-spoke steering wheel. The steering wheel is littered with buttons, some of which indicate we’ll see the 5 Series equipped with advanced active safety goodies like adaptive cruise control and the like. Next to the driver is BMW’s latest iDrive system, which looks to get a larger screen. From what we can tell, the cabin of the 5 Series will more closely resemble the sporty 3 Series than the luxurious 7 Series.
We expect to see a lot more improvements to the BMW 5 Series happening beneath the surface, though, much of it trickling down from the new 7 Series. To slash weight, we expect the BMW 5 Series to more extensively incorporate carbon fiber and aluminum, the former of which is relatively affordable thanks to research, development, and resources springing from Project i.
The engine rang won't be much of a surprise. Bet on a base 1.0-liter four-cylinder making 240-250 hp, a mid-range turbosharged straight-six with roughly 350 hp, and a top-dog 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8. We've previously spied onthe new M5 testing in the snow and on the Nurburgring, and rumors are that it will soldier on with its twin-turbo V-8 and around 600 hp. All-wheel drive is also rumored, although a significant rear bias or a fully rear-wheel-drive version is still possible given how sideways we saw the M5 prototype get on the 'ring.