The new model will also offer optional gesture control, with a three-dimensional sensor mounted within the headlining to detect up to five different hand movements. BMW will also make available its latest voice recognition system, providing the new iDrive system with four different operating options in total.
As with today’s seven-year-old model, the new 5 Series will be produced in three distinct bodystyles: saloon (codenamed G30), Touring (G31) and GT (G32). The GT will continue to feature a large liftback but in what one high-ranking BMW insider has described to Autocar as a “much more elegant form”.
The saloon is scheduled to make its public debut at the Paris motor show during the third quarter of 2016. Dates for the launch of the Touring and GT are yet to be finalised, although sources with knowledge of the planned production schedule suggest they will appear at the Geneva and Frankfurt shows in 2017.
Recent prototypes photographed testing on public roads in Germany reveal that the new 5 Series has gained an evolutionary exterior styling update, with cues lifted from the Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé concept car first shown at the 2013 Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance in Italy. Its traditional three-box silhouette is retained. However, a more heavily raked rear window and sloping boot deck provide it with a sleeker profile and more shapely rear end than today’s model.
As part of efforts to significantly improve its aerodynamics, the new 5 Series adopts a more prominent kidney grille with louvres that open when the engine requires cooling and close again to improve airflow around the front end. The headlights, available with optional lasers for the high-beam function, also extend into the chrome surround of the grille in a bid to provide the car with greater visual width.
Along the flanks, there is a more pronounced shoulder, added tumblehome to the glass area and an air breather element behind the front wheel arches. The rear gets a shapely new C-pillar treatment, OLED tail-lights and, on the more upmarket models, tailpipes set within the lower section of the bumper. As with the 7 Series, BMW plans five styling packages for the new 5 Series: Standard, Sport, Pure Excellence, M Sport and Individual.
Underpinning the car is an advanced new platform codenamed OKL (Oberklasse, or ‘luxury class’). First used by the new 7 Series, it has been conceived around a combination of materials, including carbonfibre, aluminium, magnesium and high-strength steel. The new 5 Series will shed up to 100kg compared with today’s model, which is a claimed 1595kg in its lightest form, the 520i.