As titans of the automotive world go, the BMW 5 Series is considered one of the most important. There are few cars that will gauge so much interest and attention, not only from the public, but the industry as a whole – where the Golf sets the bar of hatchbacks, the 5 Series defines the executive saloon market and the latest generation has just broken cover. Meet the BMW G30 5 Series.
The headlines are predominantly technological with the fashion of the season undoubtedly being autonomous driving. Mercedes-Benz launched the latest generation E Class and it featured almost all of the tech of the bigger S Class. BMW have very much taken a similar ethos and features such as gesture control and remote parking from the key have been taken directly from the 7 Series. As mentioned, autonomous driving in the buzzword of the moment and BMW have really raised their game.
A plethora of assistance systems are on hand in the new BMW 5 Series to offer the driver both at critical moments but also in less demanding situations at the wheel, such as traffic jams, slow-moving traffic and less interesting stretches of motorway. Lane Change Assistant and Lane keeping assistant with active side collision protection also feature for the first time. 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. Combined with Active Cruise Control and Steering and Lane keeping assistant, the G30 5 Series is one of the most capable autonomous cars that will be available on the market and at an affordable price point.
The car can relieve the driver of acceleration, braking and steering duties, as desired. The intelligent Auto Start Stop function now adjusts its responses to the route and traffic conditions and therefore offers even greater driving comfort.
With a lot of driving now being taken care of by the autonomous systems there is a lot more time to take in the surroundings and interact with the new and im[roved iDrive systems. In the rear there is greater legroom and comfort seats with massage function and now, as in Mercedes-Benz cars, there is discreet air fragrancing. There is also Apple CarPlay and a number of applications that not only allow you to search for available parking spaces, but also pay for parking tickets. A very cool new feature is the ability to see a full 360 view around the car from a smartphone at any given time.
Enough of the comfort and technology, what about the engines? The flagship engine at launch will be the 340 hp unit under the bonnet of the new BMW 540i. This three-litre straight-six produces torque of 450 Nm. Despite its extra output and sharper dynamic edge, average fuel consumption stands at only 6.5 l/100 km (43.5 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions are kept to just 150 g/km.
In xDrive guise, the BMW 540i powers from 0–100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. As great as this sounds I am sure that the most popular seller will be the 520d and 530d that are all new 4-cylinder. Hybrid engines will also be offered.
Without a doubt the most exciting news, prior to the M5, is the M550i that will take over as the sporting highlight of the new BMW 5 Series range, for the time being at least. Its V8 engine – developing 462 hp and 650 Nm of torque impresses with 0-100 km/h complete in just 4.0 seconds – The M5 promises to be very quick indeed.