2011 BMW 5-SeriesEnlarge Photo
This week's multi-car ride-and-drive in the 2010 BMW X6 M and the 2010 BMW 5-Series GT leaves us wondering, when the sedan version of the new BMW 5-Series might finally break cover? With the latest spy shots making the round at Motor Authority, it seems a 2009 Frankfurt auto show appearance for the 5er is a strong possibility.
The new 5-Series should arrive in Europe by the end of the year, and in the U.S. by early 2010. Sporting a new exterior shape that tones down some of the Bangle-era excesses, it's being preceded to market by the controversial GT fastback--and probably will not be offered as a traditional station wagon in the U.S. as a result.
The four-door version gets a fairly heavy reworking in the new generation. New sheetmetal wraps around the turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 in one model, while twin-turbo six-cylinders, diesels and an M5 version are all in the works. A six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox are the most likely transmissions on the order sheet, while an eight-speed automatic with manual shift mode also could be offered.
The new 5-Series will get lots of composite and aluminum body pieces to reduce its curb weight and to improve the distribution of that weight. A front strut/multi-link rear suspension will ensure good handling as always, and high-performance and M5 editions should get even stricter weight-reducing measures.