2020 BMW 5-series teased in official image

The BMW 5-series is about to get a fresh look, without those bigger kidney grilles...

Following sightings of mules undergoing tests over the past few months, BMW has finally given us a launch date for the new 5-series, as well as an official teaser image. The G30 generation 5-series was launched back in 2017, before BMW was in the grip of a styling revolution that has seen the iconic kidney grilles dramatically grow in size. By the looks of things, the new 5-series looks to avoid this step change, with a peek behind the camouflage suggesting a more conservative look.

Set to be launched on Wednesday May 27th, the facelifted 5-series Saloon and Touring models will make their first appearances online, with the current travel restrictions making a traditional event impossible to hold. 

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Previously spied in M Sport and SE form, both models clearly retain the same basic grille shape, with new lower bumpers and front lighting units that will likely tie the 5-series to the current 3-series. Those lighting units will feature a new lighting signature that moves even further away from the double roundell graphic that has been a constant element of BMW design, but will integrate new tech borrowed from both above and below in the range, such as laser-equipped full-beams.

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The front bumpers on both cars are fresh though, the M Sport model featuring a more aggressive set of three intakes lower down, similar to that in the 3-series, while SE models look to pick up a more subtle lower bumper design with one thin intake spreading from corner to corner. The rear lights will also pick up new graphics, but there’s little evidence to suggest it’ll feature a light bar at the rear, despite them being very much on trend.

Along with its incoming aesthetic changes, we expect the new 5-series to also feature a host of powertrain refinements, with a heavy emphasis on refining the plug-in hybrid models and improving efficiency elsewhere across the range. As one of the first models to utilise BMW’s new family of ‘B’ series engines, we suspect non-hybrid 5-series models will remain mostly unchanged, but should adopt the use of mild-hybridisation as found in the recently updated 3-series.

The interior will hold on to its basic architecture, with updates to the colour, trim and tech likely to be the main differentiators. BMW’s controversial new dial pack is also likely to be implemented, slipping into the dash layout much like that in the larger 7-series.

These changes will also spread to the flagship M5 Competition, as well as the 5-series Touring models. The question remains whether the changes will be significant enough to keep the current model competitive with the recently updated Mercedes E-class, Volvo S90 and the still-fresh Audi A6.

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