Called G30 internally, the next 5 Series will weigh at least 220 pounds less than the current model pictured above, thanks to the use of lightweight materials like aluminum and, to a lesser extent, carbon fiber. Building the next 5 with lightweight components will noticeably improve efficiency, a move that will help the sedan comply with the strict emissions regulations set to come into effect across Europe and in the United States over the coming years.
To further cater to efficiency-minded buyers, BMW will introduce a plug-in hybrid variant of the next 5 early in the production run. Sources close to the Munich-based automaker have revealed the drivetrain will consist of a compact 109-horsepower electric motor linked to a lithium-ion battery pack that will work in conjunction with 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline-burning engine rated at 240 ponies. The plug-in hybrid 5 will be one of the first BMWs to feature inductive charging.
Related: Fully-armored BMW X5
On the other end of the spectrum, the next M5 will reportedly pack at least 626 horsepower, about 50 more than even the most powerful 2015 model. It is too early to tell what will lie under the hood, but German magazine Auto Bild reports the super-sedan will be offered with all-wheel drive in order to fight head-to-head against the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and the Audi RS6.
Most versions of the next 5 Series will be available with the semi-autonomous driving technology that the company is currently putting the final touches on. In ideal driving conditions, the 5 will be able to accelerate, brake and change lanes without any input from the driver at speeds of up to about 80 mph.
Additional details about the upcoming seventh-generation BMW 5 Series will emerge in the months leading up to its introduction.