The eighth generation BMW 5 Series officially launched in October for global markets; and shortly after, we found ourselves bound to BMW’s plant in Spartansburg, South Carolina, for some on-road and on-track seat time.

Appearances alone suggest the new “5” isn’t an entirely new experience. But, this four-door sedan does grow 3.4-inches in length and 1.3-inches in width. And, there’s plenty more new than meets the eye, including the first-ever all-electric 5 Series.

Branded as the “i5,” it comes in two flavors: The eDrive40 uses a single rear-mounted motor for 335 horsepower, whereas the M60 xDrive uses motors mounted front and rear for a total 593 horsepower. An 81.2kWh battery powers both, allowing the rear-drive model to travel up to 295 miles; all-wheel drive, 256 miles.

On the internal-combustion side, standard is a 255 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-four, found in the rear-drive 530i, available with xDrive all-wheel drive. The 540i packs a 375-horsepower 3.0-liter turbo inline-six, xDrive-only. All use the same 8-speed automatic transmission.

You might think switching from gas to electric would completely change the 5 Series Ultimate Driving Machine feel. But, that isn’t the case.

“Coming from the gas powered 530i to this i5, they feel very similar. And I felt that way about the i4 and the gas powered 4 Series. The driving experience translates very well. It’s comfortable, it’s still agile, it’s quiet, and it just has the BMW feel to it.”

Regardless of which chain reaction makes it go, all 5 Series boast a refined interior with loads of new tech, including BMW’s Curved Display– a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and 14.9-inch infotainment screen housed in one unit.

The 2024 BMW 5 Series starts just under $60,000, while the i5 starts around $68,000. The i5 M60 sits at the top, commanding about $85K.

Interested buyers can check one out at their local dealership now. And you can bet we’ll be putting it through the MotorWeek Road Test paces soon.