The current BMW 5 Series is scheduled to be replaced in 2024, seven years after its launch, and our spy photographers have caught the all-electric version testing on public roads.
Following the imminent arrival of the BMW iX flagship SUV and i4 saloon, BMW will launch a further seven electric cars by 2025, with several core ICE models gaining EV derivatives in the same vein as the X3-based iX3. Prior to these images of the new 'i5', we've seen battery-powered prototypes of the next-generation BMW 7 Series, the current BMW 3 Series and the next-generation BMW X1 crossover.
BMW has yet to specifically detail how it will vary its EV powertrain offering, but the current 5 Series uses the same CLAR architecture that underpins the ICE and EV versions of the new BMW 4 Series, suggesting that its larger sibling will offer a similar powertrain line-up if it retains the platform.
That means the standard version of the i5 could potentially be offered with both rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive powertrains, with output ranging from 335bhp in the i5 eDrive40 up to 536bhp in the performance-oriented i5 M50 xDrive (if it follows the model-naming strategy of the i4).
The BMW i4 uses an 80.7kWh battery pack, chargeable at speeds of up to 210kW, for a maximum official range of between 255 and 367 miles.
The plug-in hybrid versions of the new 5 Series will likely retain their current 530e and 545e badging, with electrified four-cylinder and six-cylinder petrol engines respectively.
A range of ICE-only variants is likely to continue on sale, at least initially, although it remains to be seen whether BMW will reintroduce the 523bhp V8-powered M550i range-topper, and the full-fat BMW M5 will almost certainly adopt some form of electrification.