Following the launch of the 5-Series GT and X1, BMW has unveiled the new 5-Series saloon that boasts a smoother, sleeker look.
BMW says it offers customers the perfect blend of class-leading powerplants, unrivalled driving dynamics, and a sporting yet elegant design to set a new benchmark in the executive class.
The first BMW 5 Series saloon appeared in 1972 and every incarnation since then has raised the bar in terms of design, engineering, or technology. BMW’s first diesel engine appeared in a five, while other generations hailed the introduction of innovations such as all aluminium suspension, head-up display and active steering.
The latest 5 Series similarly sets new standards and is the first in its class to feature auto start-stop, an eight-speed automatic transmission and a double-wishbone front suspension.
BMW claims the new 5 Series saloon has been styled to reflect its almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution with beautifully balanced proportions, short overhangs, a coupé-like flowing roofline and a long, contoured bonnet. The familiar BMW kidney grille stands upright alluding to the car’s sporting pedigree.
The latest BMW has the longest wheelbase in its class at 2,968mm, creating a greater feeling of interior space. This translates into an extra 13mm of knee room for rear passengers, compared to the previous 5 Series, while customers specifying the optional glass sunroof benefit from a larger roof panel that allows light to flood in highlighting the generous rear cabin. The BMW 5 Series saloon is as practical as it is elegant and has a 520-litre boot with the option to specify 40:20:40 split folding rear seats.
Inside, the cabin features many of the sporting but luxurious quality and comfort features found in the BMW 7 Series and 5 Series GT. The use of Black Panel technology on the instrument panel and centre console would be a perfect example. Inclined seven degrees towards the driver, the asymmetrically designed centre console ensures that all controls are comfortably within the reach. The multifunctional steering wheel has been simplified, putting all of the function keys in one hand and infotainment in the other. And the new 5 Series offers more rear legroom compared to the existing model.
Buyers of the BMW 5 Series saloon should be able to choose from three diesel powerplants and four petrol engines from launch. There will be four petrol variants available from launch - the 523i, 528i, 535i and the top of the range 550i. The diesel choices are the new 520d, an improved 530d and the 525d, with the ultra high-performance M5 coming later.
The biggest seller in Ireland is predicted to be the 520d with auto start-stop. This 1,995cc four cylinder diesel features the latest generation common-rail direct injection and a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry which increases power and efficiency. Producing 184hp at 4,000rpm, the 520d accelerates from zero to 62mph in 8.1 seconds before going onto a top speed of 141mph (140 for automatic transmission ). A car equipped with an automatic transmission improves on these figures further recording 162g/km and a fuel economy return of 45.6mpg.
The new 530d will have power increased to 245bhp but with lowered CO2 of 166g/km. Economy has also been improved to 44mpg.
BMW says the standard six-speed manual gearbox has been improved to offer a smoother and sportier change, while a new eight-speed automatic is an option.
The new 5-Series is due to go on sale in March. And word has it that standard equipment could be higher with leather seats, automatic air conditioning and Bluetooth.