REVIEW: NEW BMW 5 SERIES

MUNICH – BMW has just released a torrent of details on the much anticipated seventh generation 5 Series. And yes, a plug-in hybrid will be available next year in tune with BMW’s determination to populate its line-up with hybrid offerings.

As expected, the new car is 100kg lighter than before as a result of the use of of more aluminium and high-strength steels.

NOTE: Don’t want to read? Then watch the first video below to get the essentials on the new 5 Series.

It has a newly designed chassis, a low centre of gravity, even weight distribution and a lightweight body offering high torsional stiffness that should promise a dynamic driving experience with long-distance comfort.

There are now various chassis options such as Integral Active Steering, which can be teamed with xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. The drag coefficient of the 4,935 millimetre-long 5 Series Sedan (Cd = 0.22 at its most efficient) sets the benchmark in its class.

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Assistance systems aplenty
It is also replete with advanced assistance systems. The car is fitted as standard with a stereo camera, which teams up with optional radar and ultrasound sensors to monitor the area around the car.

New features in the 5 Series alongside the evasion aid and Crossing traffic warning are the Lane Change Assistant and Lane keeping assistant with active side collision protection.

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The latter keeps an eye on the lane markings and the area around the car, and actively helps the driver to avoid looming collisions by applying corrective steering inputs.

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The 5 Series also takes another step towards automated driving with extended functions for the optional Active Cruise Control (ACC) system and Steering and Lane keeping assistant.

These include adoption of speed restrictions, which the optional Intelligent Speed Assist communicates to the cruise control system (the driver can adjust this figure by +/– 15 kph).

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From rest to 210 kph, the car can relieve the driver of acceleration, braking and steering duties, as desired. The Auto Start Stop function now adjusts its responses to the route and traffic conditions and therefore offers even greater driving comfort.

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Cabin changes
Improvements are also seen in the cabin. The latest-generation iDrive system is more user-firendly this time. In top specification, it displays navigation, telephone and entertainment features, plus vehicle functions, on a high-resolution 10.25-inch screen.

The system can be operated using the iDrive Controller, by voice command or gestures, or by touching the display controls directly, as the driver wishes.

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The large, tile-style panels can be arranged as desired and show the content of the underlying menus in constantly updated form.

The latest-generation full-colour BMW Head-Up Display has a projection surface that is 70 per cent larger than before and displays traffic signs, telephone listings, radio stations, music tracks, navigation instructions and warnings from the assistance systems.

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Maximising the levels of on-board comfort are extended storage options, greater legroom for rear-seat passengers and comfort seats with massage function, not to mention innovative seat operation using touch sensors and four-zone climate control complete with ionisation and discreet air fragrancing.

Special Synergy Thermoacoustic Capsule (SYNTAK) engine encapsulation technology, the acoustic glazing for the windscreen and the acoustic headliner bring about another noticeable reduction in noise levels inside the car.

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All headlight variants specified for the 5 Series Sedan come as standard with LED technology. Available as an option are Adaptive LED Headlights with variable light distribution including adaptive roundabout lights and BMW Selective Beam anti-dazzle high beam with a range of up to 500 metres.

Better connectivity is also touted. Extensive BMW ConnectedDrive features are joined by new services which lavish business travellers with extra comfort and save them time. These include the new ParkNow technology for digital parking space reservation and payment, the On-Street Parking Information intelligent parking space search function and the optional Parking Assistant, which detects empty spots and parks the vehicle automatically.

Plus, the Microsoft Exchange service now enables Microsoft Office 365 users to sync emails, calendar entries and contacts and edit them inside their car. Meanwhile, the optional Remote Parking system allows the BMW 5 Series Sedan to be manoeuvred into even the tightest parking spaces remotely using the car key.

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And smartphone integration has been further improved – from Apple CarPlay (which, in a first for a carmaker, has been incorporated fully wirelessly), to inductive phone charging and the WiFi hotspot for up to 10 devices.

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BMW Connected, the personal digital mobility assistant from BMW, has been available in Europe since July 2016. The next development stage of the system, complete with additional services, is set to be introduced with the new 5 Series. BMW Connected Onboard gives drivers an overview of their mobility-related information.

Relevant content such as the upcoming navigation destinations and estimated arrival time recorded in their personal mobility agenda are transferred seamlessly into the car from their smartphone and displayed on the personalised screen.

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To step up the sporty looks, BMW will offer the M Sport package from launch. It includes the M aerodynamic package (front apron with larger air intakes, side skirt trim, a diffusor-style rear apron and an exhaust system with two rectangular tailpipes), lowered M Sport suspension and M light-alloy wheels in 18-inch (optional 19-inch) format.

Inside the car, M sports seats with Alcantara covers highlight its sporting focus and are joined by the new M Sport leather steering wheel, exclusive floor mats, interior trim strips and aluminium pedals.

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All equipment lines and the M Sport package also offer customers the option of Sensatec covering in the colour shade Coffee for the instrument panel and shoulder area of the side door panel trim.

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Remote 3D View allows drivers to call up three-dimensional views of the area around their car on their smartphone while on the move, so that they need never lose sight of their car.

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What’s powering the car for starters — 540i/530i/520d/530d
All the engines in the 5 Series Sedan line-up belong to the newly developed, modular BMW EfficientDynamics family of power units. They all get BMW TwinPower Turbo technology that offers performance with fuel efficiency. Two diesel engines and two petrol variants will be available from launch, working in tandem with either rear-wheel drive or xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive.

The flagship engine at launch will be the 340hp unit under the bonnet of the new BMW 540i but it will play second fiddle once the range topper M550i xDrive arrives in March with a V8 mill.

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The 540i’s three-litre straight-six produces torque of 450Nm. Despite its extra output and sharper dynamic edge, average fuel consumption stands at only 6.5 l/100km and CO2 emissions are kept to just 150 g/km. In xDrive guise, the 540i powers from 0 – 100kph in a mere 4.8 seconds.

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The new two-litre four-cylinder in-line engine in the BMW 530i develops peak torque of 350Nm and maximum output of 252hp. Its fuel consumption in the combined cycle comes in at 5.4 litres/100km, which means CO2 emissions of 126 g/km – down more than 11 per cent on its predecessor’s figures.

The BMW 530i accelerates from 0 – 100kph in 6.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250kph.

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The four-cylinder diesel engine powering the 520d develops 190 hp and peak torque of 400Nm. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are 4.1 l/100 km and 108 g/km with the manual gearbox specified or 4.0 l/100km and 107 g/km with the eight-speed Steptronic transmission. The sedan accelerates from 0 – 100kph in 7.6 seconds (Steptronic). Top speed is 237kph.

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The new BMW 530d likewise does a nice line in dynamics and efficiency. Producing 265hp and peak torque of 620Nm, the six-cylinder in-line unit is clearly superior to the equivalent model in the outgoing range.

And yet the 530d also makes do with average fuel consumption of 4.5 l/100km and CO2 emissions of 118 g/km – an approximately 13 per cent improvement on its predecessor. The new 530d races from 0 – 100kphin just 5.7 seconds, and on to an electronically governed 250kph.

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Plug-in hybrid in second wave
Not long after the launch of the new 5 Series, BMW will be adding another three engine variants to the line-up. The 190hp four-cylinder diesel engine will be presented in its most efficient form in the 520d EfficientDynamics Edition with eight-speed Steptronic. Its CO2 emissions of just 102 g/km are the lowest in the sedan’s class (average fuel consumption: 3.9 l/100 km).

Also to come in March 2017 is a plug-in hybrid version, in the form of the 530e iPerformance. The combination of the eDrive electric drive concept and a four-cylinder petrol engine produces extremely low CO2 emissions of 46 g/km. System output is 252hp.

BMW V8 engine

Also in March, the M550i xDrive will take over as the sporting highlight of the new BMW 5 Series range, for the time being at least. Its V8 engine will make 462hp and 650Nm of torque along fuel efficiency of 8.9 l/100 km and CO2 emissions 204 g/km. The M550i xDrive dispatches the 0 – 100kph sprint in 4.0 seconds.

Like all previous generations of this model since 1973, the new 5 Series will be built at BMW’s Dingolfing plant in Bavaria, which will serve as the lead plant for all 5 Series production.

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A longer version of the 5 Series will once again be built at the Shenyang plant in China. The standard-wheelbase car will also roll off the assembly line at Magna Steyr in Graz from spring 2017.

All these information is whetting our appetite. CarSifu will be flying to Europe in about two months’ time to test-drive the G30 5 Series, so stay tuned for the first drive report.

– http://www.carsifu.my/

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