• May 21, 2008
Click above to view a high-res version courtesy of AutoExpress.

According to AutoExpress, the next generation BMW 5-series will be offered as a hatchback, along with its standard sedan and wagon counterparts. The Brit pub supposedly has it on good authority that the new hatch design will be similar to the "TwinDoor" feature offered on the Skoda Superb, which allows the driver to raise either the trunk alone or the rear window and trunk simultaneously. If employed on the new 5-series, storage – with the rear seats folded flat – could approach X5 levels. Expect to see the new 5er launched in 2010.

[Source: AutoExpress]


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  • 39 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Still fail to understand the worthiness of liftbacks.

      The sedan slope's still there, negating the advantages of a hatchback/estate/wagon.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @bc
        I say weight is a consideration. The full hatchback or wagon designs (the kind you are describing) tend to be quite a bit heavier than sedan or sedan style hatchbacks and most people don't need all the space. Just the extra utility of the opening is enough for most people.
          • 6 Years Ago
          And I say the weight difference is negligible. The 535xi Touring weighs a whopping 99 lb more than the 535xi sedan.
        • 6 Years Ago
        jake: And I say the weight difference is negligible. The 535xi Touring weighs a whopping 99 lb more than the 535xi sedan.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And I can't understand the point of sedans with radically sloped backlights terminating in tiny decklids that restrict loading. The Mazda6 liftback has 22/58 ft^3 of cargo space with the seats up/down; the defunct wagon had 30/60. There were certain kinds of objects you could carry in the wagon that you can't in the liftback, but you need to understand that you are not intended to routinely carry things that will significantly obstruct rearward vision, or may fly forward over the front seats during braking--therefore some of the apparent extra space in a wagon is not officially rated as cargo volume.

        That said, I suspect that this body style is intended for Europe and not North America, unless BMW has some market research on its owner body that suggests they want it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No Aprime you don't understand, it's obviously another 4-door coupe.

        /sarcasm
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think if you're going to make a sedan, this is the way you might as well do it. why not have a hatch on the back? it's only adding convenience

        but who needs 4 doors in the first place?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I dont see a problem with this. The nice thing about this back is that you cant see any difference between this car and a regular BMW unless you look very closely. And it will make it easier to load stuff in the back, and the 5 series is soo large now that you can fit quite about of stuff in the back.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If they make this it would really make the X6 even more pointless then it already is.

      A 535 or twin 550 twin turbo with this option would be faster then the X6 in every way, handle better, look better and have more cargo capacity.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is interesting, BMW may pull this hatchback 5-Series off.
      • 6 Years Ago
      interesting modern interpretation of the 1951-53 Kaiser Traveler who was the "ancestor" of the hatchback
      http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1951-1953-kaiser-traveler.htm
      http://www.greatcarstv.com/history/when-kaiser-was-more-than-an-hmo-the-1951-1955-kaiser.html
      • 6 Years Ago
      that is a photochop. odds are the car will have different lines then the sedan.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Fooman: thanks for stating the obvious. The article states the hatch will be part of the next-generation model line-up, not the current one.

        I find reading articles as opposed to merely looking at the pictures to be rather handy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That is foooogly
      • 6 Years Ago
      oh boy, another big hatchback. I'm sure it will meet the same success in the US as the departed Merkur Scorpio. remember those? how about the gorgeous Chevrolet Corsica hatchback?

      you'd think BMW would have learned from their lack of success with the 318 hatchback, as Mercedes later learned with the C-class hatchback.

      if you want to make versatility, make a wagon. and make it boxy; this utilizes all the space. oops, they already have the X5, don't they?

      hatchback= cheap and cheesy.

      AZMike
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thak you for that perfect example of outdated thinking AZMike.

        None of the cars you refer to are remotely relatable to a 5-Series hatchback

        The closest among them was the class-sharing Merker Scorpio. A poorly marketed, unknown, unpronounceable brand in sitting in dealerships accustomed to selling Towncars and Grand Marquis' - Oh yeah, a hatch version the highly desired 5-Series which has the highest brand equity and awareness in the business can't possibly fare any better than the Scorpio.

        Corisica - HaHaHaHaHa!! Oh yes, it was the hatch that killed that car, no doubt about it!

        318i and C-230 Hatch Hello! They are two door models! That changes everything! Including the target market, as they were completely unsuitable for family use which is a role most 5-Series models play. Only having 4-cylinder engines didn't help much either. Again, not applicable to the 5-Series.

        An if you haven't noticed, in the wake of the SUV era, the hatchback concept is enjoying quite a comeback. People have gotten used to the idea of having more versatility than a sedan can offer. And as said, while there may not be much more room, the folding seats and large opening would greatly improve the utility over a conventional 5-Series.

        AZMike = Narrow minded and clueless

        That said, what does surprise me about the prospect of a hatch 5-Series is the possible diminishing of body rigidity. A big hatch means there are no cross braces from the rear bumper, all the way to the roof. For most mid-size sedans this might not be that much of an issue but the ride-handling expectations of a 5-Series are much higher and body rigidity plays a key roll.




        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't quite understand your concept of "poor execution". the back opens, and the seat folds down, and you put stuff in. what else is there?

        I think the market speaks for itself. Mazda has had 5 door hatchbacks (the 626) since the 80's; they were always the lowest sellers of the range, just like they are today.

        the BMW and Mercedes hatchbacks were both very practical; they still didn't sell.

        this certainly doesn't stop manufacturers from trying. let's see how many are left on the market five years from now.

        as I mentioned, the market speaks for itself. hatchbacks sell well for the first year or two, and then sales drop, and they are discontinued.

        don't believe it? go the the Mazda website, and try to locate a Mazda 6 hatchback anywhere. I had a friend looking for one with a manual transmission; there wasn't a single one available anywhere in the country. dealers don't order them because they don't sell.

        AZMike
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's all about what happens in the American Post SUV market.

        Where you gonna get a ride to hold your whole posse and 17 subwoffas that still has some bling?

        Obviously from Munich!

        Can't wait for the M version of this one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why does Mazda not stock 6 hatchbacks?

        Why did I have to buy a used car 1500 miles away from home to get a manual transmission with red paint and black leather in a Legacy GT.

        The reason is that not all companies, actually quite few of them, really want to step out on a ledge and market a new product, and dealerships are even more adverse to risk, and won't order products that don't sell, when the brand HQ won't advertise them.

        I am not saying that they are going to be the next best thing, and sell millions of units.

        But it should be an option, and from a practical standpoint, has some advantages.

        And if you are getting at "the people's preferences" and how the people just don't like them... then explain why the people do like things like Britney Spears tabloid coverage, American Idol, and other completely superficial things, like most of pop culture. That doesn't make pop culture have more merit.

        Some things with merit conversely don't take off to a great extent, but that is what market niches are for. No one seems to want to capture niches, they all want to out-mainstream each other, and everything gets more bland...

        Exactly why I drive what I drive, and not a camry, or a taurus, or some other appliance. Appliances are popular, but thankfully other options are available.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This is full of false logic.

        just because some cars were too cheap, and it lead to their downfall due to poor execution, doesn't mean it has ANYTHING to do with the fact that it had a lift-back.

        If anything the false assertion of causation is convincing people of that, despite it not being true.

        I don't want an SUV, I don't need one. I thought that made me all kinds of politically correct, and "green", and caring, and wonderful, or something. Believe me, I don't give a rip about that. I just don't want more weight than I need, because I like performance and aerodynamics.

        But when I need to carry a box, like a 12x14x22 carton for a compound miter saw... and I can't fit it through the trunk thresholds, despite the fact that the trunk has more than enough room inside... I have to put it in the back seat. Thankfully I didn't have a 3rd or 4th passenger.

        A hatchback would have instantly solved my problem, and the box would have fit in the trunk area, without folding the seats, and it would have been just peachy-keen.

        I like wagons better than SUVs, but I shouldn't need a wagon for a very occaisional carton that doesn't fit through the trunk lid perimeter, but would fit in the trunk.

        My previous 93 Probe GT, and '88 fox Mustang hatchbacks both held MORE cargo in less floor-plan area than my Legacy, and were more practical in that aspect, with fewer side doors. A 5-door sedan would be just as much, and likely even more practical yet.

        The Mazda6 5-door showed that a sedan and a hatchback sedan can co-exist, and one is no cheaper, cheesier, or worse looking (actually I thought the 5-door had a nicer side profile than the 4-door with the bland rear door glass line)

        Just because there were cheap and cheesy cars before, doesn't mean that had to do with them having a hatchback, and a hatchback car today is very likely to be every bit as well finished as a 4-door variant.

        I would SO trade my Legacy for a 5-door sedan with the same specs otherwise, like 250+ turbocharged horsepower, manual transmission, and AWD. The Mazdaspeed6 didn't have the lift-back, and the 5-door 6 was FWD, and not as powerful. Legacy GT has better performance EVERY time it is driven, rather than the admittedly better practicality once in a great while. But I wish that were a compromise I wouldn't have to make.

        If I had the means... a 5-door BMW 535xi twin turbo, or a 540xi V8 with a stick would be a very attractive machine.

        The X6 certiainly is NOT. After seeing one in person today, I am even more mad about it being called a coupe. It is friggin' huge, dowdy, and the answer to a question no one has thought to ask.
      • 6 Years Ago
      An improvement no doubt to the sedan, I see no reason to get it over a wagon, other than the fact that bmw doesn't sell any real wagons in the U.S.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Never in America. No way.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What do you mean storage could approach X5 levels? The X5 is not known for its storage. The first model had less storage space than a Subaru WRX. The 5-series wagon has always had more storage space than the X5. I would have to imagine a sedan version isn't far behind.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Its only in the US that people have a problem with hatch backs, the whole of europe and most of the world loves them, and why not, it looks the same as the sedan but you can access the space in rear much more efectivly. Yes there is the same volume as the 4 door but with a huge gaping hole at the back you can actually get stuff in there instead of trying to squeeze it through the doors.
        • 6 Years Ago
        +1 I wish companies offered a hatchback option on every sedan made. Trunks are big, but their access sucks.
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