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Today, BMW says its “entering the home stretch” on development of this new midsize sedan. The 5 Series is BMWs benchmark sedan, no matter what you think about the sporty 3 Series or the ultra-lux 7 Series. This car is the one that BMW needs to get right. So what’s in store for the fully-electric version of BMW’s most important car for 2024?

BMW is testing the new i5 all-electric 5 Series

A BMW i5 testing in camouflage paint in the moutnains
BMW is disguising the new i5 for now during testing | BMW

Cold weather is the Achille’s heel of most electric cars. Electrons simply can’t move in the cold like they do in hot weather, so BMW has tested it in Arjelpog, Sweden, as well as Miramas, in south France. The goal, BMW said, was to make sure the new heat pumps work right and all the climate control systems can keep up. BMW says the car’s debut is weeks away.

So far, the car looks a lot like the current gas-powered 5 Series. However, the car carries image-obscuring camouflage to hide its unique details.

The i5 will debut new technology

A camouflaged BMW i5 testing on a mountain road
The BMW i5 in a camouflage paintjob testing | BMW

Watch what you look at. The new electric 5 Series will have BMW’s new Highway Assistant that can execute lane changes through eye activation. We’re not sure, exactly, how the system will work but we’re eager to “see” what it does. Ba dum dum.

Beyond that, the 5 Series will debut a new automated driving and parking system. The new system uses high-resolution cameras and radar sensors. BMW’s Highway Assistant will allow hands-free driving at speeds up to 85 mph, which is five miles per hour faster than the top i7 series can claim with a similar system.

What will the top-of-the-line electric 5 Series BMW look like?

A camouflage BMW i5 on a mountain road
The 2024 BMW i5 will be the new midsize electric car from BMW | BMW

Like the impressive i7, the i5’s M variant will add more power and more performance. The new BMW i5 M60 xDrive comes with the Adaptive Suspension Professional package, which includes electronically-controlled dampers and a new system to control lean and yaw that bases its calculations on the physical aspects of what the car’s doing, not math. You can also order it on the i5 eDrive40.

Why the BMW 5 Series matters

The BMW 3 Series carries the small sports sedan torch. The 7 Series carries the flag for big luxury sedans. But right in the middle of those two sits the 5 Series. It’s bigger than a 3 with enough room to carry five adults in comfort and enough performance and power to shame many other cars. But, it’s not as luxurious or expensive as a new i7 series car.

The 5 series is the car that should sit at the Goldilocks intersection of comfort and performance and it competes with other midsize sedans. The new car has to do both things well to be a success. Today, you can order a 5 Series in several trims, starting with the 530i at $56,000 with a 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder. Performance aficionados will spring for the 540i, which has a bigger twin-turbo inline-six. The 530e Sedan and 430e XDrive Sedan are the electrified versions of the current car. The 530e Sedan starts at $57,600, while all-wheel drive is a $2,200 option.


What Does the Base BMW 5 Series Have That the Fully-Loaded Accord Doesn’t?