2010 BMW 5 Series - Click above for a high-res image gallery

The 2010 BMW 5 Series is due to hit the market early next year and these latest spy shots are a clear, if predictable, indication of what styling changes are on their way.

The front fascia adopts the upright nose, elongated twin-kidney grille and contoured headlamps (Dame Edna be gone!) originally shown on the 2009 7 Series, while the rear takes on a set of similarly styled tail lamps and looses the Bangled rump we've come to know and loathe.

The overall effect should tie in well with the recently revealed BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, and expect similar powertrain options to be available, including the 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8, 3.0-liter inline-six and a host of diesel options offered abroad. Transmission choices will likely include a six-speed manual and an all-new eight-speed gearbox supplied by ZF. And then there's the 2011 M5 to look forward to.

Expect the next M-fettled 5er to pack the X6 M/X5 M's tweaked twin-turbo'd eight nestled within a revised chassis sure to use considerable amounts of aluminum and carbon fiber. It's obvious that development of the next 5 is well underway, and we wouldn't be surprised to see it unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September, with the M5 appearing later in 2010.

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