BMW has officially revealed its seventh-generation 5 series saloon today, mixing evolutionary design with technology borrowed from the flagship 7 Series range.
The company chose to wait until after this month’s Paris motor show to show its latest model, to ensure it gets plenty of exposure rather than competing with dozens of other vehicle launches and industry announcements. The vehicle is expected to make its public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.
BMW claims the latest model is more refined than ever before, significantly lighter, safer, and more fuel efficient. A newly-developed modular engine range contributes significantly largely to performance and economy gains, while lightweight materials have helped with reducing the kerb weight.
Inevitably, the latest model has grown longer and (fractionally) wider, and its external dimensions are slightly longer than its age-old rival, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Cabin pace is also improved, especially for rear passengers, and the boot has grown to 530 litres.
The new 5 Series features a host of driver assistance systems, including an evasion aid and steering assistance which form part of an optional Driving Assist Plus package. The steering and lane control assist system functions in a similar fashion to the Tesla Autopilot system, keeping the car within its lane and allowing hands-off driving at up to 130mph. The traffic sign recognition system can also detect if other vehicles have priority, and alert the driver accordingly.
Both exterior and interior design display a clear evolution of the previous 5 Series, as well as influence from the newer 3 Series and 7 Series models. The overall look is significantly sharper than the old model. BMW claims that the drag coefficient has been reduced by 10 per cent, with a class-leading figure of 0.22 for the entry-level eco model.
From launch, the new 5 Series will offer two petrol and two diesel engines, with another diesel option set to join the range shortly afterwards. The petrol models will be the 530i 2.0-litre four-cylinder, developing 252hp, and the 540i xDrive 3.0-litre six-cylinder 340hp all-wheel drive model. The diesel offerings will be the 520d 2.0-litre generating 190hp and the 530d 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, producing 265hp and an enormous 620Nm of torque. Both diesel models are available in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive format. An eco-version of the 520d will join the range soon after launch, with a similar power output to the regular 520d version but lower emissions and a more limited specification.
A plug-in hybrid model will also be added to the range in coming months. The BMW 530e iPerformance combines the petrol engine from the 530i model with an electric motor to deliver 252hp and a claimed electric range of 28 miles.
Full UK prices and specifications for the new 5 Series will be available in coming weeks, so stay tuned to The Car Expert for more details.