2010 BMW 5-Series renderingEnlarge Photo
The past 48 hours have been big for wagons. Apart from the buzz surrounding the 2011 Mercedes Benz E-class Wagon, there's also been news of the Cadillac CTS-V SportWagon and Honda's likely U.S. launch of an Acura wagon based on the popular Acura TSX. Now comes a new rendering of the next-generation BMW 5-Series Touring Wagon, set to appear in late 2010, approximately a year after the debut of its 5-Series sedan sibling.
The rendered wagon bears a number of cosmetic similarities to the current Touring Wagon -- which isn't surprising, as practical-minded wagon-drivers are presumed to worry more about function than form. That isn't to say that the rendered 2011 wagon isn't stylish, only that stylistically speaking, it's fairly similar to its predecessors.
But while the wagon's exterior may look familiar, its bones should be somewhat different. The standard model will include a front section based around an aluminum frame, and performance variants may have the option of carbon-fiber body panels, which would reduce the wagon's weight.
There are more differences to be found under the wagon's hood -- notably, the addition of a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 to the list of possible powertrains, as well as a couple of diesel variants. Rumor has it that six-speed manual and six-speed semi-automatic transmissions will be available, too, plus a new eight-speed option.
No word, exactly, on why there's a sudden buzz around wagons. Maybe Acura's John Watts was onto something when he insinuated that the once-passé wagon is cool again. We'll hope it has more staying power than bell-bottoms and sock ties.