Estate model will follow the saloon, which is being launched later this month
9 November 2009

BMW’s new 5-series Touring has been spied in Germany ahead of it going on sale next year.

BMW is set to unveil the saloon version later this month, but we’re likely to have to wait until next year to see the estate version. As has been previously seen on spy shots of the saloon, the styling is much more subdued than the current-generation 5-series, which was designed by the controversial, and now departed, Chris Bangle.

The front-end is akin to the one seen on the new 5-series GT, while there are also plenty of styling cues from the current 3-series. It shares its platform with the GT, which is itself a cut down version of the one found on the 7-series.

BMW insiders have previously told Autocar that the benefits of sharing the platform across models has allowed it to apply many of the lessons it learned in developing the ride and handling in the 7-series and GT to the new 5-series.

The boot space is likely to be increased from the maximum 1650 litres in the current car, but it is unlikely to grow beyond the 1950 litres of its biggest rival, the new Mercedes E-class estate.

As with the saloon, the Touring will be slightly larger than the outgoing model but thanks to weight-saving measures it should be no heavier. However, BMW has abondoned its use of lightweight aluminium on key parts of the car, opting instead for an all-steel arrangement.

Although this is officially because of the problems presented by working in aluminium and steel, cost-savings are also thought to have been a factor.

However, clever aerodynamic features are expected to help lower the car's drag, helping to reduce fuel consumption and emissions nevertheless.

BMW is expected to introduce an M5 version of the Touring, as is the case with the current model. This would get a new version of BMW's twin-turbo V8 engine, rather than the V10 seen in the current car.

Photos: CarPix

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9 November 2009

Does this platform-sharing with the 7 make it the Ghost's baby brother then?! Doesn't sound like a weight-saving move. Along with abandoning aluminium panels, more a way of increasing profitability.

9 November 2009

Bangle's name is always mentioned to the sound of air sucking through teeth, but you can still tell it's a BMW from fifty yards, day or night, and the brash shapes at which everyone scoffed now stare at you as 'Teutonic design cues' from the brochures of countless rivals. Even the wife's C5 looks like it's fallen off his drawing board rather than Citroen's. Was he really such an arse? And more importantly, now that he's gone, will this new 5-Series look a bit boring like the new 7-Series - all snout and no trousers?

10 November 2009

I agree. The Bangle designs were at least distinctive and a fresh look at car design. His styles seem to age well too. IMO, with the possible exception of the X6, most of the Bangle generation cars look even better as some years have got under their belts and one or two (6 series, Z4?) may become design classics of the future. We'll see if the new BMW styling has the same interesting and enduring quality...

10 November 2009

I totally agree ThwartedEfforts. Also thought Bangle was an arse when 'flame surfacing'... surfaced. But when done with conviction (yes - previous Z4, 6-series) I grew to appreciate it. Unfortunately I think BMW lost their nerve, ironically as other manufacturers were beginning to adopt elements of it. Which has culminated in Bangle's departure. Now I feel the huge grille (inspired by Maserati?) is the only innovation in the 'post-flame surfacing' era. And the new 5 and 3-series will follow the rather dull formula of the 7.

Maybe you only appreciate someone after they've left?!

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