Like their sedan siblings, prototype versions of BMW’s new 5-Series Touring are freeing themselves from heavy cladding providing us with a better look at their exterior details as we get closer to their unveiling.
BMW’s Touring models were always more of lifestyle estates balancing elegant yet understated looks, with added room and practicality than outright boxy tools devouring whatever your throw at them, like Volvo’s (pre-V90) or Mercedes’ wagons, and that won’t really change with the seventh generation of the 5-Series.
In fact, as with the sedan, the new 5er Touring will look a lot like the existing model, gaining some new cues from Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé concept revealed at the 2013 Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance in Italy, chiefly the more chiseled and less rounded front end, along with a heavier slanted rear window that gives it a slightly sleeker profile.
A modest increase in external dimensions and better packaging should help improve the load space over the current 5-Series Touring, which offers 560 liters with the rear seats up, increasing to 1,670 liters when they’re folded down, while rear passengers should gain some extra room too.
The interior design will be strongly influenced by the latest 7-Series offering a similar dashboard layout with an available partially-digital, partially-analogue instrument panel, and a large, free-standing touch-screen for the infotainment system that can also be controlled through the iDrive knob next to the gearbox lever.
The new Five will ride on the same modular platform as the 7-Series and will drop up to 100kg (220 pounds) over the current car thanks to the use of carbonfibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) in the bodywork and chassis.
Powering both the 5-Series sedan and Touring will be a number of 2.0-liter B47 diesel and B48 gasoline four-cylinder turbo engines, the 3.0-liter B57 diesel and B58 gasoline straight-six turbo units, and an upgraded 4.4-liter V8 gasoline engine. These will be joined by the 2.0-liter four-cylinder plug-in gasoline-electric powertrain used in the 330e, 740e and X5 xDrive40e, and a replacement for the M550d performance diesel believed to get electrically driven turbos. Base versions will be offered with both a 6-speed manual and a new nine-speed automatic, the latter being available as standard on higher end models.
While the return of the M5 Touring has been rumored, we haven’t heard anything from company officials, with the same applying for the possible availability of the wagon in North America – we wouldn’t bet on either of those happening at this stage.
BMW will likely first unveil the GT variant of the new 5-Series at the Paris Motor Show this fall, with the sedan and Touring models to follow, possibly next year.