A sporty 2017 BMW 5 Series wagon prototype, believed to be the new Alpina B5 Touring, has been snapped doing laps around the famed Nurburgring circuit.
According to the photographers, the test vehicle was being put through its paces, going very quickly around the German race track.
Differing from the pre-production 5 Series wagon spied in April, this Alpina B5 Touring sports subtle changes including a new front spoiler, rear bumper, larger alloy wheels along with quad exhaust pipes.
Bigger brakes and Alpina wheels will likely complete the upgrades.
Power is expected to come from a version of BMW’s 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that is already in the current M5, with reports speculating power outputs in the 600hp (447kW) ballpark, similar to the rumoured 450kW that will be on tap in the next-gen M5.
An Alpina D5 diesel version is expected to accompany to petrol-powered B5, using an uprated version of the company’s 3.0-litre triple-turbo diesel that currently does service in the X5 and X6 M50d variants, producing 280kW of power and 740Nm of torque.
The current M5 Competition Package produces 423kW/680Nm from its twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8, sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. With the current combination, the M5 is capable of hitting 100km/h from standstill in just 4.2 seconds.
Last year Carsten Pries, BMW’s head of product management, told CarAdvice that the new M5 could be made available with all-wheel drive, which could cut the benchmark sprint time to the sub-4.0-second mark, putting it in supercar territory and in direct contention with the current RS6 and upcoming E63.
Underpinning the new BMW 5 Series, M5 and Alpina B5 will be the company’s new Carbon Core architecture, which employs a range of lightweight materials including high-strength steel, aluminium and carbon-fibre. With the new component set, the next-generation 5 Series range should drop around 100 kilograms over the current model.
The regular 5 Series range is expected to be revealed by the end of this year – possibly at October’s Paris motor show – while the M5 won’t make its debut until sometime in 2017.
Using that as a guide, the Alpina B5 and D5 models are likely to be revealed after the M5, probably late next year or early 2018.
Alpina is just starting to make its way into the Australian market, with its first locally-offered model – the 301kW/600NM BMW 4 Series-based B4 Bi-Turbo coupe – to be launched in November.
The range will initially be available through the BMW Doncaster and Bundoora dealers in Melbourne, though the Alpina brand isn’t a BMW subsidiary.
Alpina’s local distributor – In Motion Group – plans to announce more locations in other states by the end of the year.
Above: Alpina B4 Bi-Turbo
The company plans to also offer the 3 Series-based B3 Bi-Turbo sedan and Touring models in the future, which are currently undergoing ADR compliance.
Considering the Alpina B5 and D5 aren’t likely to be revealed late next year, don’t expect to see any on Australian roads until at least 2018, if at all.
Click the photos tab for more images of the 2017 Alpina B5 Touring