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It’s a mid-lifecycle update for the G30 BMW 5 Series, or LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) in BMW-speak. Changes to its exterior appear minimal, with camouflage foil indicating revisions to its front bumper and grille areas (this doesn’t appear to have grown), and possibly for the headlamps as well. Similarly, the rear bumper, parts of the bootlid and rear quarter panels have been concealed.
The sides of the G30 appear largely unchanged as well, with the attendant M Sport and eDrive badging concealed under black tape. Here, we can see the development vehicle dressed in M Sport kit, compared to the previous G30 5 Series LCI sighting when it was fitted with what appeared to be a Luxury Line pack.
The ‘Hybrid Test Vehicle’ sticker located on this G30’s front doors point to its electrified powertrain, which so far has been the role of the 530e, itself having received an update earlier this week for greater battery capacity. This is now 12 kWh, up from 9.2 kWh previously, with pure EV range now up to 66 km (58 km in xDrive form), increased from 48 km previously.
The update to the existing 530e continues to be paired with a four-cylinder internal combustion engine, the 181 hp/290 Nm 2.0 litre turbo petrol unit which gets paired to a 113 hp/250 Nm electric motor integrated into the eight-speed automatic gearbox. The development vehicle here, however, is expected to use a version of the six-cylinder electrified powertrain that features in the 745e/745Le LCI which arrived in February.
This means the PHEV version of the LCI 5 Series will get a considerable hike in total system outputs; in the case of the 745e LCI this is mostly attributed to the 286 hp/450 Nm straight-six, with a 113 hp/265 Nm electric motor offering a 15 Nm gain from the preceding 740e and the latest 530e, which offers 252 hp and 420 Nm of torque with petrol and electric drive systems combined.
The upgrade to a six-cylinder engine could also bring the option of xDrive, now that both the revised 530e and the 745e LCI can be specified in all-wheel-drive guise. BMW could position the new electrified G30 somewhere in between the two, likely with a slight detune to the internal combustion engine for stats slightly lower than the 745e’s 394 hp and 600 Nm total system output figures. Might this be called the 540e?