It was more than six years ago, in early 2010, that we drove the sixth generation, F10 5 Series at its global launch in Portugal. Now, the seventh-generation of Munich’s popular mid-size saloon is in its final stage of development and our spy photographer has spotted it testing with less camo than before.

Codenamed G30, the next generation 5 Series saloon will be underpinned by a new Carbon Core platform, which is pretty much the same seen in the current 7 Series. Made of a combination of materials including carbon fibre, magnesium, aluminium and high-strength steel, the architecture will is expected to help the new 5er shave nearly 100kg compared to the F10’s weight.

The styling appears to be more evolutionary with size and proportions looking pretty similar to the current model’s. the profile is also similar apart from a more rakish rear window and a slanting boot lid. The kidney grille is more prominent and is said to sport louvres that open and close to enhance airflow into the engine bay.

Powertrain options will still include four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines, with a plug-in model also planned.