The next 2017 BMW 5 Series will be completely new when it arrives in 2016, and will come with new tech that debuted in the new 2016 BMW 7 Series, along with a new range of engines and less weight. Internally designated G31, our photographers recently caught the five-door touring variant of the next 5 Series testing out in the wild.

While this test mule doesn’t reveal much, it is wearing a bit less camo than other preproduction 5 Series prototypes we’ve seen. Like the G11 2016 7 Series, the next 5 Series’ styling will be an evolution of BMW’s current design language, which consists of subtly contoured surfaces and creased accent lines that hint at the car’s high-tech underpinnings. This test mule also shows a bit more of the headlamps too, which will be larger and conjoin with the signature kidney grills.

The next 5 Series will also be bigger than the car it replaces, with more interior space, and in the case of the Touring variant, more space in the back for dogs, kids, luggage and Home Depot runs. Like the F11 Touring, the G31 Touring also gets a sizable panorama glass roof. Weight will be reduced thanks to carbon-fiber reinforced-plastic body panels, which will continue to proliferate throughout BMW’s entire range.

BMW hasn’t announced anything official, but here’s what we think we know so far about what’s going on under the sheet metal. The engine lineup will consist of more powerful and efficient versions of BMW’s modular turbocharged six-, four- and possibly three-cylinder engines. Other possibilities include the very welcome return of the M5 Touring with a twin-turbo V-8 and a six-cylinder ActiveHybrid 5 Touring.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Let’s get the obvious bad news out of the way. Like the most recent BMW wagons, the next 5 Series touring probably won’t be available in North America. German wagons are historically slow sellers that hold only limited appeal among small cross sections of people (i.e. car journalists).

The general car-buying populace is still traumatized by childhood memories of car-pooling in Ford Country Squires and Chevy Caprice Wagons with faux-wood paneling, which is why BMW will continue to send over niche products like the 2014 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, 2014 BMW X5 and the 2015 BMW X6, instead of the 5 Series Touring.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

2016 BMW 5 Series Touring - Spy Shots

2016 BMW 5 Series Touring Caught Testing Again: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
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2016 BMW 5 Series Touring Caught Testing Again: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
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2016 BMW 5 Series Touring Caught Testing Again: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
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You can read our speculative review here.

James Wolfcale
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