BMW SA has launched two derivatives of its eagerly-awaited 5 Series. The new range is bigger, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor and features cutting-edge technology.BMW SA has launched two derivatives of its eagerly-awaited 5 Series. The new range is bigger, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor and features cutting-edge technology.
Most observers believe the look of the new 5 Series, which was penned by controversial designer Chris Bangle after the 7 Series and Z4, but before the X3 and 6 Series, will probably be the most widely accepted – and so it should, given that the executive saloon forms the centrepoint of the BMW model range.
The sensuous front end, with its curved headlight clusters featuring dual headlights and a coupé-like “greenhouse”, is attractive, but what about the highline rear-end? There is a method to that, BMW says. The new saloon offers more space for rear passengers and has a much larger luggage compartment than its predecessor.
Inside, the cabin features a refined version of BMW’s iDrive system. Most functions essential for motoring are within the driver’s reach on or around the steering wheel, whilst the basic comfort functions are in the centre console. But all other settings, functions and services are operated by the controller and control display featured together with a gearshift lever.
And from next year, a head-up display will be available for the 5 Series. The system makes a significant contribution to active safety by presenting information relevant to the driver in his direct line of vision. A further advantage, BMW claims, is that the driver can determine what information is to be presented on the windscreen, ie. road speed and/or navigation instructions.
One of the standard features is an automatic air conditioning system with adaptive evaporation temperature control preventing the occupants’ mucous membranes from drying out and providing individual stratification of temperatures inside the car.
The range initially comprises two straight six-cylinder variants: The 530i with 170 kW and 300 N.m, featuring BMW’s bi-Vanos spark ignition engine, and the 530d developing maximum output of 150 kW and maximum torque of 480 N.m – powered by BMW’s new diesel featuring second-generation common rail technology. Both variants are fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox, with six-speed automatic available as an option.
BMW claims that the car’s aluminium/steel body, all-aluminium chassis and suspension will result in a lower weight and therefore enhanced fuel economy, better performance and optimised axle load distribution. According to the manufacturer, the 530d/530i accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 7,5/6,9 seconds and achieve a top speed of 242/250 km/h, with fuel consumption in the composite EU cycle of 6,9/9,5 litres/100 kilometres.
The 525i, displacing 2,5 litres and with maximum output of 141 kW and 245 N.m of torque, and the range-topping 545i, with a Valvetronic V8 power unit displacing 4,4 litres and developing 245 kW with 450 N.m of torque, will be launched next year.
Optional on the 530i and 530d are active front steering, as described by CARtoday.com last year, which works in conjunction with the cars’ dynamic drive stabilisation systems. Run flat tyres are standard across the range.
Other options include: Adaptive headlights (the bi-xenon headlights are controlled by steering wheel angle, yaw rate and road speed, illuminating the road ahead in a bend) and brake force display (reduces the risk of bumper-to-bumper collisions when the driver applies the brakes hard by enlarging the brake light area).
Also available as an option shortly after launch, the automatic cruise control is a radar-based system developed for driving on the highway and automatically controls the distance from the vehicle ahead chosen in advance.