More details of the next generation BMW 5 series are emerging.
The development 5 series, stealthily referred to as the F10 in BMW code language, will arrive as a 2011 model sometime in late 2010, we hope. And it will see BMW go very turbo, as it begins to rely on turbocharging to maintain or increase power while keeping the weight down. Although the car will also be slightly larger, BMW will be keeping the body mass down with the use of aluminum body panels in the roof, fenders and other body panels.
The wheelbase will grow a few centimeters but no exact measurements are available on that yet. The MacPherson struts are gone, replaced by a control-arm front suspension.
The range of engines available for the 5 series will include a 3.0 liter, twin-turbo, straight six banger for the 540i. The 550i will come with a 4.4 liter twin-turbo boosted V8. There's also a twin-turbo clean diesel coming and the M5 will be knocked back to a turbo V8 from its current V10 excess.
There'll also be hybrid offerings for the new 5 series which BMW will be testing the market with first in the upcoming X6 and 7 series.
For options packages, you can look at the current 7 series for a glimpse of the future, which includes adaptive damping, integral steering, side-view cameras, and a night vision aid for recognizing pedestrians in the dark.
The F10 will be sharing a platform with the 7 series and the next generation 6 series. BMW calls this a backbone rather than a platform and bases its backbone architecture on the firewall, suspension and floor in various wheelbase configurations. Which doesn't do much to dissuade us from believing that the BMW 5 series is just a 7 series shrunk down a couple of notches. Or maybe it's the other way around.