The new BMW 5 Series has been unveiled, bringing with it more cabin space, wireless Apple CarPlay, autonomous tech and improved efficiency.
Project manager Wolfgang Hacker says the new 5 Series combines the drive of the 3 Series with the feel of the more luxury 7 Series, a move that will help the executive saloon address the fact it had fallen behind competitors such as the new Mercedes E-Class.
Underpinning the 2017 5 Series is a brand new chassis, which lacks the carbon fibre core of the 7 Series but still helps shave 70kg off the kerb weight and maintains a 50:50 weight distribution. Another 30kg has been saved by using aluminium on the body and lighter alloy wheels and brakes.
The dimensions have been revised, too, with the wheelbase now 7mm longer its predecessor. The 2017 5 Series is also 36mm longer, 6mm wider and 2mm taller, providing increased interior space. Meanwhile the boot has increased by 10 litres to 530 litres.
There are various new additions to the new 5 Series, including the option of Integral Active Steering, which is a fancy way of describing a rear-wheel steering system to improve handling. It also gets WiFi hotspot functionality for up to 10 devices and wireless phone charging.
The all-new BMW 5 Series will also feature wireless-enabled Apple CarPlay (BMW was the first manufacturer to introduce it), removing the need to physically connect your phone as is the case with most rival manufacturers.
Autonomous technology also features so it can control the brakes, acceleration and steering at speeds up to 130mph, mirroring the abilities of Autopilot on the Tesla Model S.
Five engines make up the range at launch. The least powerful petrol, the 530i, produces 252hp and 350Nm of torque and manages 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds. Fuel economy is 48.7mpg combined.
The least powerful diesel is the 520d, which has 190hp and 400Nm of torque while offering 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds, 68.8mpg and 108g/km of CO2 emissions. It is available with xDrive all-wheel drive.
The most powerful and least eco-friendly is the 340hp 540i xDrive, which blasts from standing to 62mph in 4.8 seconds, pumps out 450Nm of torque, while fuel economy and CO2 emissions come in at 39.2mpg and 164g/km, respectively.
A plug-in hybrid will be launching in March 2017 that is capable of a claimed 134.5mpg and 49g/km of CO2. The total power output for the 530e iPerformance is 252hp. An all-electric range of 28 miles at up to 87mph has been promised.
A 520d SE EfficientDynamics engine will also arrive after launch, offering 190hp, CO2 emissions of 102g/km and up to 72.4mpg.
As for those who care about the M badge, BMW will introduce a range-topping M550i xDrive later in 2017. Up front will be a 4.4-litre V8 that outputs 455bhp, helping it offer a 4-second 0-62mph sprint thereby bettering its predecessor by three-tenths of a second.
Those expecting a radical departure in the looks department will be sorely disappointed as the new 5 Series is largely business as usual except for new LED headlamps, removal of the bonnet strut line and a few other subtle tweaks.
The new BMW 5 Series will go on sale from October 2016 and is being be built in Bavaria at the Dingolfing plant, where all previous generations have been manufactured since 1973. Prices start from £36,025, making it £4,910 more expensive than the current 5 Series.
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