CAR magazine subscriber Manfred Pignitter spotted this development mule for the next BMW 5-series in Austria, complete with an odd-looking exhaust extension. Is this the underwater 5-series, complete with snorkel? A new aftermarket exhaust? Or perhaps something to do with the company’s push for class-leading green credentials?
We're not quite sure, but we reckon there are CAR Online readers working in the industry who'll be familiar with this kind of device – so be sure to post your comment with your informed, or entertaining, suggestions. The Five is a fully fledge Munich test vehicle.
BMW 5-series versus the Austrian mountains
Pignitter, who was on a motorbike tour, followed the car over the 8366ft Timmelsjoch mountain, which could suggest that the weird raised exhaust pipes relate in some way to the lack of air pressure at high altitude.
BMW is certainly going efficiency crazy at present: withdrawing from Formula One, adding economy and efficiency to its sporty ultimate driving machine vocabulary and scattering Efficient Dynamics magic across its range. We'll see a new landmark ED concept car at the forthcoming 2009 Frankfurt motor show.
The exhaust on this new 2010 5-series is most likely an experiment along these lines; either that or Chris Bangle has made a secretive comeback.