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Development of the next-generation G30 BMW 5 Series continues ahead of its expected unveiling next year. Our spy photographers have caught the executive sedan yet again, but while we’ve seen prototypes like this before, it’s the first time we’re looking at a plug-in hybrid variant.

How can you tell? Well, apart from the “Hybrid Test Vehicle” sticker on the front doors, this particular mule also sports a charging port door on the left front fender, just like any other BMW PHEV. Other than that, it looks pretty much the same as a standard G30 5er prototype.

That is to say that the styling of the car is a fairly modest evolution of the current F10. The front fascia sports BMW’s new face, with large, three dimensional kidney grilles that flow into the headlights. Speaking of which, the lamps look almost comically large – the ones seen here are LED units with reshaped “corona ring” LED daytime running lights that look the ones seen on the facelifted F30 3 Series.

The standard non-M Sport front bumper on this car gets a full-width horizontal air intake as on the current model, but now with inverted L-shaped corners integrating the new rectangular LED fog lights and Air Curtain inlets. Moving back, the Air Breather vents aft of the front wheel arches make their first appearance on a 5 Series, and new door mirrors from the G11/G12 7 Series are also fitted.

At the rear, there are the trademark L-shaped LED tail lights, but missing here are the trapezoidal tail pipes seen on other 5 Series mules so far. Instead, there are twin round tailpipes that are usually fitted on six-cylinder models.

We also get the peek at the interior, this time with less camouflage than before. It’s very clear that this is very much a smaller version of the 7 Series’ cabin, much like how the new W213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class has a very similar interior to the W222 S-Class.

Clear to see is the stitched dashboard, the freestanding iDrive display (likely with the 7er’s gesture controls), a full Black Panel virtual instrument cluster, a full-width decorative trim panel and redesigned iDrive controller switchgear and automatic gearlever. A new three-spoke steering wheel from the 7 Series is also present.

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Expected to be called the BMW 540e, the plug-in hybrid should utilise the same 2.0 litre TwinPower Turbo engine as the 740e, making 258 hp and 400 Nm of torque. Bolted to the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission will be an electric motor, which in the 740e makes 113 hp and 250 Nm, putting system total output at 326 hp and 500 Nm.

Other G30 models are expected to make use of the new B48 2.0 litre turbo four, B58 3.0 litre turbo straight-six and even the B38 1.5 litre turbo three-pot, while the full-fat F90 M5 will be powered by an evolution of the current car’s 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8, rumoured to churn out as much as 626 hp.

Under the metal, the new 5 Series is expected to share the new 7 Series’ Carbon Core construction, utilising carbon fibre, magnesium and aluminium to shed around 100 kg off the portly F10.