BMW’s current 5-Series has been around since the 2011 model year and was given a mid-cycle update for 2014.

Now we have a new set of spy shots of a prototype for the next-generation 5-Series, and this one's wearing the least camouflage gear yet. At present, we're expecting the car on the market later this year as a 2017 model.

Following the launch of the carbon fiber-bodied i3 and i8, BMW is revolutionizing the way it builds cars once again, starting with a new modular platform dubbed CLAR (formerly 35up) that made its debut in the 2016 BMW 7-Series. The new 5-Series will be the next CLAR-based model, and the platform will eventually make its way into virtually all BMWs sized from the 3-Series up.

2016 BMW 7-Series multi-material construction

2016 BMW 7-Series multi-material construction

The platform is one of BMW’s key strategies for meeting tougher fuel economy standards as well as increased demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. Using construction techniques learned from developing the i3 and i8 electrified vehicles, the CLAR incorporates some lightweight materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic in addition to conventional steel.

Thanks to its lightweight underpinnings, expect the new 5-Series to weigh around 220 pounds less than the current model, which means the lightest versions could end up tipping the scales at less than 3,300 pounds. The car’s size and proportions appear similar to the current model, as the spy shots confirm, which means an overall length of about 16 feet and width of just over six feet.

2017 BMW 5-Series spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2017 BMW 5-Series spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

As for engines, expect 4-, 6- and 8-cylinder options to remain, all with direct-injection and turbocharging technologies. A plug-in hybrid model is also planned. Other technologies will include a self-parking system, digital instrument cluster, and gesture control interface, just like on the larger 7-Series.

In addition to this new 5-Series sedan, we'll see new versions of the 5-Series Touring wagon, the high-performance M5 and the related 5-Series Gran Turismo. These additional variants should appear six to 12 months after the sedan.

A reveal of the new 5-Series is expected to take place this summer ahead of a formal debut at the 2016 Paris Auto Show in late September.


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