It’s only been a few years since the G30 generation of the BMW 5 Series first made its debut, and it looks like a facelift (or LCI) for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class rival is on the way. Recently, our spy photographers managed to capture a development car undergoing testing with its front and rear fascias heavily disguised.

The vehicle in question is actually in Touring guise (internally codenamed as the G31) with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, the latter indicated by the “Hybrid Test Vehicle” stickers applied on the body.

Changes that are expected to come with the facelift include a new front end, which should feature a larger kidney grille as per the current BMW trend of doing so – just look at the latest 7 Series and X1 as examples. BMW could even go the extra mile and add illumination to the grille, just like it did on the third-generation X6.

Other tweaks include a redesigned bumper and headlamps, but all that camouflage makes it difficult to spot precisely what’s been altered for now. The same can be said of the rear, with new light graphics likely used for the taillights, complemented by a revised rear bumper design.

While there are no shots of the interior in this set, it isn’t far-fetched to assume the latest BMW technologies like the Live Cockpit system making its way into the cabin. Updated trim and upholstery options should also be included, but we reckon the general design of things to remain largely familiar, much like in the new 7er.

Improvements to the engine line-up are likely on the way too, and it’s suggested that models with a plug-in hybrid powertrain will be badged as the 545e, where a 3.0 litre straight-six will replace the 2.0 litre four-cylinder powerplant in the soon-to-be outgoing 530e. This switch has already taken place with the 745e, but should be detuned for the 5er.

GALLERY: Current G31 BMW 5 Series Touring