The seventh-generation BMW 5 Series will bow out after seven years in mid-2023 and its successor will be radically transformed, both technologically and stylistically, as part of BMW’s transition to a maker of electric cars.
Most notably, the 5 Series will follow its X3 and 4 Series siblings in being offered with a choice of pure-combustion, hybrid and full-electric powertrains in line with BMW’s ambition to sell seven million plug-in hybrid and pure-electric vehicles by the end of 2030. By the time the new 5 Series goes on sale in 2023, the BMW Group will offer 12 fully electric vehicles globally, including EV versions of the X1 crossover and 7 Series (see bottom of story), and an all-electric version of the 3 Series is being readied as a sibling model to the i4.
The next 5 Series – which brings a sharper front-end design and a more rakish roofline than the current car – will sit atop an evolved version of the modular Cluster Architecture (CLAR) used by all current BMW models apart from the i3, 1 Series, 2 Series Gran Coupé and 2 Series Active Tourer. Compatible with pure-combustion, mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric powertrains, as well as both rear- and all-wheel drive layouts, the CLAR platform underpins BMW’s strategy of portfolio diversification in the run-up to going all-electric.
The 5 Series will be one of the last all-new BMW models launched before the company begins the ‘third phase’ of its electric transition in 2025. This new era, termed ‘Neue Klasse’ in reference to the mould-breaking saloon cars that catapulted BMW into the mainstream in the 1960s and 1970s, will usher in new-generation EV powertrains, heighten BMW’s focus on supply chain sustainability and introduce an all-new software platform with the aim of providing “a completely novel user experience”.
Codenamed G60, the new 5 Series could be updated during its life cycle to keep pace with Munich’s new-era line-up. However, when the car is launched in 2023, BMW’s ‘Power of Choice’ strategy will still be in operation (a follow-up to the initial ‘Project i’ programme under which the i8 and i3 were launched), whereby each model in the lineup is offered with combustion, hybrid and electric powertrains.