First, we got a sneak peek of the 2 Series Coupe, then the iX3 popped up out of nowhere and now the updated 5 Series executive sedan has been leaked. Considering the recent spate of controversial designs released by BMW, the updated 5er looks like more like a grown-up 3 Series than a shrunken 7 Series.
We're beginning to think that BMW is either hopeless at keeping its secrets... or it has a tremendous covert marketing team that is well skilled at keeping the Munich-based brand in the news amid the new-product lull of the Covid-19 pandemic. The update to the G30-generation 5 Series, which was launched in South Africa 3 years ago and is a multiple #CarsAwards finalist in the executive sedan class, is not particularly far-ranging from an aesthetic point of view, but then we don't yet have specific details regarding the model's in-cabin refreshment or the revised derivative line-up.
The 5 Series is one of BMW's finest models, but its popularity has waned due to its price positioning and the market's obsession with SUVs.
The model shown here is a 530e petrol-electric hybrid equipped with an M Sport package. From the rear, it is evident that BMW has kept the rear design virtually unchanged, apart from a new LED tail-lamp clusters that incorporate a hockey-stick-shaped brake-light detail. We are also pretty sure that the M logo has been repositioned (moved lower down) to just above the black front fender blade.
BMW SA has offered neither the 530e (nor the 390 kW/790 Nm all-wheel-driven M550i xDrive, powered by a 4.4-litre V8 turbopetrol motor) on the local market (even though both are available in right-hand-drive guise), but the revised version of the former iPerformance derivative will reportedly feature a larger-capacity battery pack, while the rest of range will receive various efficiency revisions.
New vs Old: the biggest changes to the G30-generation sedan appear at the front. Note the revised new headlamps and bumper.
BMW raised eyebrows when it grafted the X7's oversized double-kidney grille on the 7 Series when the 1st-class sedan received its mid-product-cycle update last year; the Bavarian firm has resisted the urge to do the same with its middle child, although it's clear (as it was on the 1 Series and 2 Series Gran Coupe) that the brand's preferred grille treatment is no longer flat, but 3-dimensional, with the chrome-look bars (integral to the M-Sport package) that stand proud of the similarly-finished surrounds. The characteristic (slightly flattened) kidneys now flow into one another as well.
The overall look is very reminiscent to that of a specced-up G10-generation 3 Series, in fact. The 5 Series' slimmer and shapelier headlamp clusters each sport a pair of LED daytime running light details and sit atop a more sculpted front bumper with a V-shaped bar that divides the enlarged front air intake (with black mesh) into 3 sections – at least more so than on the pre-facelift car.
When do we expect to see the revised 5 Series in local showrooms? Probably before the end of the year, although BMW has made no announcements regarding the introduction date in South Africa. We can confirm, however, that the updated model will feature the latest 12.3-inch iDrive infotainment system (as found in the new X5 and X6).