35up will see the 5 Series utilise high-strength steel and aluminium, as well as carbonfibre-reinforced plastic, in its underlying structure. These weight saving measures should see the new car shed around 100 kilograms compared to the current generation.
In time, the 35up platform will form the basis of all of BMW's rear-wheel drive-based vehicles.
Reports have indicated that the new 5 Series will feature motivation in the form of three-, four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines. A 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder motor could be the base engine in some markets, while the next-generation M5 will likely continue to employ a V8 engine.
The car seen here features a second “fuel” cap in the front fender, indicating that a plug-in hybrid variant will join the range. For the recently unveiled plug-in hybrid 730e, there's a 2.0-litre petrol engine teamed up to an electric motor built into the eight-speed automatic transmission.
Together they can develop a maximum of 240kW of power. Fuel economy for the 730e is rated at 2.1L/100km, while in pure EV mode the car has a range of 40 kilometres and can hit a top speed of 120km/h.
The next-generation 5 Series range is widely expected to debut some time in 2016.