BMW has been testing a lot of new sedans lately. In fact, the Germans have been testing every single sedan in their lineup, not including the weird hunchback parts of their GT niche. The next-generation 7 Series has been spotted stretching its wheels on public roads for quite a few months now, recently joined by the facelifted 3 Series, which, as expected, won’t receive more than just a few nips and tucks. Now, Munich’s test drivers have taken the next-generation 5 Series out for a spin on the Nurburgring track.

First spotted on the road in mid-December 2014 and then again in late January 2015, the 2017 5 Series arrived at the "Green Hell" with some changes on the outside, albeit still wearing a thick layer of swirly camouflage. The most important novelty is the production headlamps, seen for the very first time on a prototype. The revised camouflage also lets us have a better look at the new front grille, which seems in line with the twin-kidney piece seen on recent production Bimmers, being wider and a tad thinner for a sportier appearance.

The big news here is that the sedan sports an additional "fuel cap" on the left front fender, meaning this is our first glimpse at the Plug-In Hybrid version of the upcoming 5 Series. Specifics are still unknown, but my guess is BMW will use the same powertrain as the X5 xDrive40e. The SUV employs a 2.0-liter four-pot and an electric motor for a total output of 313 horsepower.

Continue reading to learn more about the next BMW 5 Series.

Why it matters

New vehicles don’t hit the Nurburgring until late in their development, which could mean the 5 Series is closer to production than initially predicted. A global debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show this September has just become a strong possibility. Seeing the hybrid model on the "Green Hell" spells good news to BMW fanatics, who can now rejoice at the thought of getting a plug-in that’s as dynamic as any of the gasoline-powered sedans in the lineup.

2017 BMW 5 Series - spy shots

BMW 5 Series Makes Its Nurburgring Debut: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
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BMW 5 Series Makes Its Nurburgring Debut: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
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BMW 5 Series Makes Its Nurburgring Debut: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
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Find out more about the next-generation BMW 5 Series in our speculative review here.

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