BMW confirms electric 5 Series will get Touring estate and M versions

Munich not writing off estates as the i5 preps for its arrival later this year

BMW i5

BMW has confirmed that its new 5 Series, which will come as an all-electric i5, will continue to have both a Touring estate model and as a high-performance i5M.

BMW says that the new 5 Series will be both “more dynamic and more comfortable” than the existing model, which will be going some. It will gain the big, curved twin-screen cabin layout already seen in the iX and i7, but the software that runs on it will get an upgrade to version 8.5.

The 5 Series will continue to be offered as a petrol and plug-in hybrid model, and it will event continue with diesel power, albeit with fuel-and-emissions saving 48-volt mild-hybrid technology. The new 5 Series will be given a global debut in the summer, and will go on sale late in the year. It will likely be effectively a January 2024 model for Ireland.

At the BMW Group annual conference today, Oliver Zipse, the company chairman, announced further details of the new BMW 5 Series model range, indicating that the i5 would also be made available as an all-electric BMW M Performance model. “The all-electric BMW i4 M50 shows how BMW blends dynamic performance and electric mobility to perfection,” said Zipse. “It was the best-selling BMW M model worldwide in 2022. A fully electric performance version from BMW M will also be included in the new BMW 5 Series sedan line-up.”


Thankfully for those of us with an eye on practicality, the electric i5 will also be offered as a Touring estate, making it a potential foil for Audi’s incoming (but delayed) A6 e-tron Avant. The BMW 5 Series Touring is very popular, particularly in Europe,” said Zipse. “From spring 2024 it will also come in an all-electric version, giving us a truly unique selling point in this segment.”

More than ten-million 5 Series models have been sold since the model line was first introduced in 1972, making it one of the most important models for the German car maker. While we can’t see the design yet — as the only image we have of the car is obscured by a cover — it’s said to be considerably less ‘challenging’ in its looks than the recently-launched 7 Series and i7, as buyers of the 5 Series are generally considered to be a little more conservative in their tastes.

Beyond the new 5 Series, BMW is starting to drip-feed details about the all-new ‘Neue Klasse’ model, which will come only in electric form and which will be the new 3 Series, going on sale in 2025. The — potential — styling of the Neue Klasse was previewed by the iVision Dee concept car shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

BMW has now confirmed that one tech aspect of the iVision Dee will be going into production — a full-width heads-up display that occupies almost the entire base of the windscreen. This system, called BMW Panoramic Vision, is meant to supplement, perhaps even entirely supplant, digital instrument panels and central infotainment screens in the future.

Frank Weber, BMW’s head of technical development, described the main advantages of the new head-up display by saying: “The windscreen becomes a single large display with our new BMW Panoramic Vision, opening up completely new possibilities for the design of our vehicles. Whether the driver decides themselves which information they want to display in their own field of vision, or that all occupants can see the entire content. The revolutionary projection and the significantly more clearly structured cockpit give an impressive new feeling of space and driving. We are taking our proven ‘eyes on the road – hands on the wheel’ slogan to a new level.”

Neil Briscoe

Neil Briscoe

Neil Briscoe, a contributor to The Irish Times, specialises in motoring