Caught in wagon form wrapped in plastic camo, spy images of BMW’s new 5-series show the mid-sizer is taking shape with a broader snout and a larger twin-kidney grille similar to that of the new 2009 7-series. A rounded tail also alludes to a more conservative familial resemblance as the German automaker continues to tone down the controversial flame-surfaced styling of the current 5-series.
While we expect more information at an auto show later this year, the new 5-series will be slightly longer, wider, and lower than the existing car when it arrives in early 2010. It will again feature a hybrid steel-aluminum structure, with the doors, hood, and roof made of the lighter metal. However, this is in contrast to the existing car’s design, which employs aluminum for nearly the entire front half of the vehicle for optimum weight distribution. The new structure is easier and less expensive to manufacture, yet still could aid handling by offsetting the weight of the engine and lowering the center of gravity. Rear-wheel drive is standard and the automaker’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system will again be optional, and expect the torque-vectoring active differential from the X6 crossover to be offered as an option on certain models.
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