• Jul 2, 2009
2011 BMW 5-Series - Click above for gallery

A year ago, we showed you pics of the next-generation BMW 5-Series doing some high-speed testing on the Nürburgring, but that was pretty much the last we heard about this midsize bahnstormer. Well, intrepid spy photographer Rich Truesdell spotted a similar mule out in the desert last week, and he has filled us in on some additional details. The car he spotted appears to be a 2011 BMW 540i sedan. Rich relates that the car was big enough to have him thinking 7-Series at first, but BMW helped out by having a clearly larger current 7 on hand for comparison purposes. How thoughtful of them.

While not a lot of final detail shows through, Truesdell points out that the heavy rear quarter cladding could be a tip that something is brewing in the recently revamped styling department in Munich. In particular, around the C-pillar, there was a lot of camo, indicating that perhaps there's something worth hiding. Beyond that, the sedan looks like a shortened 7-Series from most angles, and the dual exhausts suggest that this is likely the V8-powered 540i. Follow the source link to read what Rich thought of the vehicle and to see all of the photos in high-res.



All images © 2009 Rich Truesdell/Automotivetraveler.com

[Source: Automotive Traveler]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      revenge of the 7 series style wrap around tail lights?
        • 5 Years Ago
        As much as people like to deride the Bangle-ized 7-series when it first came out, I actually liked the look of the rear over the current 7-series and the wrap-around tail lights of the newer BMWs. Now they are making them look more generic, if not Lexus-esque to appeal to the masses.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Man i can't wait to see this thing witthout the camouflage.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That same car i sent you guys video of like a month ago

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTKuTkYgXio
        • 5 Years Ago
        More like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBZaXRN2PcE&NR=1

        So does the prototype have the same interior as the E60 or what? The dude's just chillin' next to the car and he seems to forget that interior shots that aren't covered as well can sometimes be important too!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This doesn't look like a mule, but rather a working prototype. If it were a mule it wouldn't clad in all that camo plastic.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I never could understand what you learn by seeing these mules?
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is not a mule, this is an actual prototype of the upcoming production 5-series sedan.

        What do you get out of it? A Hint at least of the shape/proportion of the vehicle.
      • 5 Years Ago
      540i? Not 550i?
        • 5 Years Ago
        540 e60s existed outside of NA. I know they have them Australia
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, that's correct peakea, but as witnessed by the new 7 series, the "40i" designation seems to be moving from cars powered by the older 4.0L N62 V8 to those powered by the newer 3.0L N54 turbocharged I6. Although the current E6x 5 series can be had with either motor (the latter car labeled 535i), I don't believe any market in the world gets both the 535i and the 540i due to the nearly identical performance and positioning in the lineup. Furthermore, BMW gives strong indication that the N62 V8 is not long for this world, so I suspect that the new F1x 5 series will be sold as the 540i in all markets (no more 535i) but now it will be powered with the 326hp version of the N54 I6 as seen in the 7 series.

        So, which car is in the spy shot? We'd need an exhaust clip to know. It could be the new 550i, which will be powered by the new 4.4L N63 turbocharged V8, or it could be the new 540i as I describe above. The reason we can't be sure either way is that, while the current 535i does not have the dual exhaust (the 335i does, however) we don't know yet if the new one will or not.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yeah, most likely the twin turbocharged 4.0l that is found in the 7series
      • 5 Years Ago
      Those are some massive brakes for an ordinary (non-M) 5-series..
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's kinda enormous.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's a big 5 Series.
      Also, shouldn't that be 550i, not 540i? Are they introducing a more powerful twin-turbocharged I6 or a smaller naturally-aspirated V8?
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