BMW 5-series (2010): the spy photos

Published: 22 May 2008

Germany’s big three premium manufacturers are readying their new executive saloons and CAR Online has spied the 2010 BMW 5-series on its first exploratory laps of the Nurburgring. Last week we had a world exclusive scoop on the next A6 and caught the AMG version of the new Mercedes E-class out testing.

The new BMW 5-series will feature Concept CS-inspired looks, BMW’s acclaimed Efficient Dynamics technology and Munich’s latest raft of high-tech gizmos designed to blitz the opposition. The 5-series will also spawn the Progressive Activity Sedan, BMW’s very strange quasi-MPV.

So just what does the BMW 5-series look like under all that cladding?

Expect two very big kidney grilles that will give Audi’s single frame Auto Union/Basking shark-inspired grille a run for its money. Either side of the twin grilles will sit narrow lights with LED ‘eyebrows’.

The front face is expected to be very similar to the Concept CS unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show in 2007. The rest of the looks will be subtly changed over the current 5-series, with the radical flame surfacing toned down and matured into a more cohesive package. However, it’s underneath the skin that BMW has been hardest at work.

Click 'Next' below to read more of our scoop on the 2010 BMW 5-series

Just what are these technical changes I can’t see then?

BMW surprised everyone with its Efficient Dynamics technology. For the next 5-series the company is working hard to ready the system for all the engines, and to make sure the mpg and CO2 figures are delivered in the real world and not just in the lab.

Efficient Dynamics currently only works with four-cylinder engines equipped with manual transmissions but BMW wants the system on all cars. Even the next M5 is expected to get stop-start and the misleadingly named Regenerative Braking which is actually an intelligent alternator that only charges on the overrun or under braking.

A new ZF-sourced eight-speed auto will help further cut emissions and raise mpg figures. Further development of the current car’s mix of aluminium and steel construction will help end the weight gain, though BMW will stop short of adopting a full aluminium spaceframe.

Click 'Next' below to read more of our scoop on the 2010 BMW 5-series

Ah yes, the engines. Tell me more…

The line-up for the next 5-series is expected to be as follows:

Diesel:

520d – 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo
530d – 3.0-litre straight-six turbo
535d – 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo

The 525d with its 3.0-litre single turbo diesel may be dropped for a 523d using BMW’s twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel.

Petrol:

525i – 2.5-litre straight-six
530i – 3.0-litre straight-six
535i – 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo
550i – 4.4-litre V8 twin-turbo
M5 – 5.5-litre V10

The M5 is expected to feature the current car’s 5.0-litre V10 but bored out to 5.5-litres and with direct injection. The engine will make 550bhp and combined with either a six-speed manual or BMW’s new seven-speed M-DCT twin-clutch transmission give it enough go to keep up with the big bore V8 from Mercedes.

Click 'Next' below to read more of our scoop on the 2010 BMW 5-series

What else should I know?

Active steering, lane guidance, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control and dynamic drive will all be on the options list.

Size-wise the 5-series is expected to grow around 10mm in length but the front overhang should be shorter and the wheelbase longer to give more room inside.

The 5-series will also spawn a Touring version, the 6-series and the PAS (Progressive Activity Sedan). The latter will provide interior space on par with a Rolls-Royce Phantom and offer between 600 and 1750 litres of boot space, depending on how you fold the rear seats. It’s no featherweight though as the PAS will weigh over 1900kg but that hefty weight means the car will have a payload of 600kg. It won’t look ill proportioned either because 18-inch wheels will be standard and 21-inch rims will be on the options list.

What else should I know?

Active steering, lane guidance, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control and dynamic drive will all be on the options list.

Size-wise the 5-series is expected to grow around 10mm in length but the front overhang should be shorter and the wheelbase longer to give more room inside.

The 5-series will also spawn a Touring version, the 6-series and the PAS (Progressive Activity Sedan). The latter will provide interior space on par with a Rolls-Royce Phantom and offer between 600 and 1750 litres of boot space, depending on how you fold the rear seats. It’s no featherweight though as the PAS will weigh over 1900kg but that hefty weight means the car will have a payload of 600kg. It won’t look ill proportioned either because 18-inch wheels will be standard and 21-inch rims will be on the options list.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

Comments