Thursday, 8 January 2009

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and action!

The BMW 5 Series Touring has been spied undergoing cold-weather testing in Munich, ahead of its launch in late 2010/early 2011. The new pictures give us our best look yet at the upcoming wagon and it appears clear that the new model will have a more conventional exterior compared to the current 5 Series.

Sitting on a shortened 7 Series platform, the new wagon features an increased wheelbase that resulting in improved interior room and greater luggage capacity. To fight the inevitable weight gain that the enlargement brings, the company will outfit the new wagon with a multitude of aluminum body panels.

Big changes are also in store for the 5 Series mechanicals, as the new model will feature control-arms up front instead of the McPherson strut suspension that is currently used. Today's 6 speed automatic transmission will be replaced by the new 8 speed unit which debuted on the 7 Series, while the M5 Touring will feature a new double clutch M-DCT sequential transmission.

Engine choices will include the award-winning 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6, the new twin-turbo 4.8 litre V8 and several diesels including a brand new version which will feature twin-turbo technology.

The M5 Touring should return to the line-up a year after the new wagon launches, but power will come from an unspecified V8 instead of the current V10 to better fuel economy and emissions. With the 5 Series sedan receiving a hybrid set-up, we'll have to wait and see whether the wagon will also get the same set-up.

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