They may be a long way from production, but the BMW 5 Series sedan and wagon seen in these spy photos represent the next generation of BMW's luxury car. Our spy photographer expects the new 5 Series sedan and wagon will debut in about three years' time.
A new version of the 5 Series isn't due for some time as the 2014 BMW 5 Series and M5 were recently refreshed. The changes for the new model year include new lose around the kidney grilles, reshaped front fascias, a new crease in the car's rear fascia, new mirrors, and various extra interior equipment. BMW also made a new 255-hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo diesel inline-six engine available in the 535d sedan.
The 2016 BMW 5 Series sedan spied here is heavily camouflaged, but it does appear to have a slightly reshaped silhouette compared to the current car. The roofline takes on a more coupe-like curve, resulting in a more rounded rear quarter window instead of the current model's kinked glass. The hood appears to slope down more, too, leading to a lower and more rounded nose.
As for the 2016 BMW 5 Series wagon, called the Touring in BMW's official terminology, the most notable change concerns the rump. The upper half of the liftgate is now flatter rather than curved, at it rises toward the roof at a shallower angle than on the current 5 Series wagon. The BMW 5 Series Touring is not sold in the U.S., although BMW has deigned to make its 3 Series Sports Wagon available to American shoppers.
Our source posits that the next-generation BMW 5 Series could be engineered to accommodate the new three-cylinder engines that will be used in the 2014 Mini Cooper and the upcoming front-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series. If so, it's doubtful those thrifty engines would be deemed powerful enough for the U.S. market. Expect to see more spy photos of the next 5 Series over the coming three years.