It may not be as exciting as a brand new model, but our spy photographers have captured the first glimpse of the facelifted BMW 5 Series out testing, and this prototype previews a new drivetrain. A sticker clearly reads 'Hybrid Test Vehicle,' and the door for the charger on the front fender gives away that it is a plug-in model.
BMW currently sells a hybrid version of the 5 Series called the 530e xDrive, which is powered by a turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with an integrated electric motor producing 248 horsepower. This new plug-in model is expected to go by the name '545e xDrive' and use a detuned version of the drivetrain found in the 745e xDrive iPerformance.
In the 7 Series, the plug-in hybrid drivetrain is paired with a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine producing a total output of 389 horsepower with an all-electric driving range of 25 kilometres. The 5 Series is expected to have slightly less power, around 375 hp.
The prototype features heavy camouflage on the front and rear, leading us to believe there will be significant changes to the bumpers, lights, and grilles. It remains unclear if BMW will enlarge the kidney grille as it has done on the X7 and 7 Series, but by the looks of the spy shots, the grille will remain normal size. Expect to see some improvements to the infotainment system, putting the 5 Series more in line with newer BMW models. The facelifted 5 Series will likely make its debut in late 2020 or early 2021.