BMW has revealed the 7th generation of the iconic BMW 5 Series sedan this week, ahead of a global release in February 2017. The new BMW 5 Series, code named G30, looks set to play catch up with Mercedes-Benz’s new E Class, by offering a host of new driver assistance technologies. In addition, the G30 5 Series sets the platform for the next BMW M5 – with the new platform’s light weight promising to provide a perfect base for the next big M-car.
The G30 BMW 5 Series has been built upon BMW’s new CLAR scalable platform, currently seen underpinning the G11 7 Series. In this smaller scale iteration, the extensive use of aluminium and high strength steel has seen the BMW 5 Series drop 100kg compared to its predecessor.
This weight loss will be welcome in terms of both performance and efficiency; the latter of which will also benefit from new engines from BMW’s EfficientDynamics range. In addition to reduced weight, the CLAR platform offers enhance torsional rigidity, benefitting performance and safety.
New Engines and Nomenclature:
Along with new engines, several models will also undergo slight name changes, following on from what’s been seen in other ranges including the 2- and 3 Series.
On the petrol engine front, the base petrol model will be a 530i, powered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo engine with outputs of 185kW (5200-6500rpm) and 350Nm (1450-4800rpm). Performance figures are ample, with a claimed 0-100km/h run of 6.2 seconds, whilst economy figures are claimed at 5.9l/100km.
One rung up, the BMW 540i will get the familiar B58 3.0-litre turbocharged 6-cylinder engine, with outputs of 250kW (5500-6500rpm) and 450Nm (1380-5200rpm). The 0-100km/h claim is set at 5.1 seconds, with consumption being pegged at 6.9l/100km.
The top of the range petrol model will be the only model to boast xDrive – BMW’s all-wheel drive system. The BMW M550i xDrive will have drive sent to all 4 corners by a reworked version of the current turbocharged 4.4-litre V8, now outputting 340kW @ 5500rpm and 650Nm from 1800rpm. The reduced weight, increased power, and addition of AWD sees the 0-100km/h sprint completed quicker than the F10 M5, in an astounding 4.0 seconds flat.
The diesel models kick off with the 520d, boasting 140kW @ 4000rpm, and 400Nm from 1750-2500rpm. 0-100km/h is dealt with in 7.7s, with fuel consumption claimed at 4.2l/100km.
The 530d is the 2nd, and only other diesel model available. Boasting a 3-litre inline 6 diesel engine with outputs of 195kW @ 4000rpm and 620Nm from 2000-2500rpm, 0-100km/h is achieved in 5.7 seconds, whilst consumption is rated at 4.9l/100km.
A hybrid BMW 530e iPerformance will also be available, pairing a 2-litre petrol engine to an electric motor system to generate combined outputs of 185kW (4460-6500rpm) and 420Nm (1450-4000rpm). The claimed 0-100km/h time is 6.2 seconds, whilst claimed fuel economy is an impressive 2.0l/100km.
All models, with the exception of the 520d, feature an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission as standard. The 520d features a 6-speed manual, with the 8-speed auto as an option.
All models can also be opted with rear-wheel steering ability, to enhance agility and manoeuvrability.
BMW are likely to come in for some criticism on the styling of the new 5 Series. After all, little has changed from the previous model, and to the layman it may well be indistinguishable from the smaller 3- and larger 7 Series. But, “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” as they say.
Despite the similar appearance to the previous car, the new 5 Series has grown slightly. At 4935mm long, it’s 36mm longer than the previous car, while it is also 6mm wider (1868mm) and 2mm taller (1466mm). The wheelbase has also grown by 7mm to a total of 2975mm long.
The front end sees the biggest stylistic change, with new headlights meeting up with the kidney grilles – a trait seen across other BMW model ranges. The headlights are LED units as standard, although adaptive LED units are available optionally.
The rear design is now wider in appearance and more masculine, and also features LED lights. One key aspect of the new 5 Series is the exhaust tailpipes, which are no symmetrically orientated on all models – i.e. one/two per side. Depending on the package (Luxury, Sport etc), tailpipes will either be round, trapezoidal or rectangular.
Technology and Features:
One of the biggest draw cards to the new BMW 5 Series will no doubt be the host of technology and features available on the G30.
As standard, BMW will equip electronically adjustable seats, but optionally, adjustable side bolstering and 8-function massage seats will be available. Furthermore, the rear seats have space for 3 child seats, with ISOFIX mountings on the outer two seats. Front seat adjustment is now completed via touch sensitive pads on the seats, with an accompanying display on the central display screen.
Following from the addition of Gesture Control in the 7 Series, the next generation of this technology has been included in the BMW 5 Series. In addition to gesture control and the standard iDrive controller, the 5 Series now also offers full voice control with the Intelligent Voice Assistant. This multilingual system allows for customised instructions, rather than a list of acceptable phrases.
Heads-up display isn’t new to the market, having been around for quite some time in the BMW stable. However, a new 800×400 resolution heads-up display will enable more information to be displayed within the driver’s direct line of sight, including driver assistance warnings, navigation instructions, current media, and phone lists.
Other technology implemented in the new BMW 5 Series includes upgraded adaptive cruise control to handle traffic and higher speeds, as well as speed sign recognition and memory.
As part of the process of interconnecting vehicles, other BMW’s on the road can notify the BMW 5 Series of upcoming hazards, such as ice, fog, and accidents or broken down vehicles, which will appear as warnings on the navigation display.
Other technologies included – optionally – are lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and lane change assist, which will automatically check the adjacent lane and manoeuvre across once the indicator has been used. This is operable at speeds between 70-180km/h. Piggy-backing off this system, if an object suddenly appears in the lane ahead of the 5 Series, an emergency evasive steering action will be implemented to automatically avoid a collision.
Additionally, Steering and Lane Control assistant offer semi-autonomous driving (much like Mercedes’ Distronic+ and Volvo’s Pilot Assist).abilities, and monitor lanes, traffic speeds etc for trouble free commuting. Also part of the optional driver assistance packages, the cameras are able to detect intersections controlled by traffic lights, and can prime the brakes in case the driver hasn’t seen that they are unable to proceed. Visual and audible warnings will tell the driver that other cars have right of way.
To make life easier and drivers lazier, the optional parking assistant offers automatic parking. Remote controlled parking is also available on the 5 Series, with the driver required to park in front of the space, exit the vehicle and initiate parking with the Display Key.
What about an M5?
Perhaps the most anticipated BMW 5 Series for petrolheads is the prospect of a new M5. The M5 is coming, just not yet.
What we do know is that it will most likely continue to use the current 4.4-litre twin-turbo S63 V8, with a slightly higher state of tune, much like the Pure Metal Edition M5.
Along with the weight saving of 100Kg on the standard model, we’re expecting further weight savings by means of carbon fibre drive shafts and body panels such as the roof, which should see a total weight saving compared to the F10 M5 of around 160kg.
However what remains to be seen is whether the M5 will continue with the tradition of rear-wheel drive, or whether it will implement xDrive AWD – either standard or as an option.
It looks likely that the G30 M5 will utilise the rear wheel steering system to enhance agility.
South African Arrival:
The G30 BMW 5 Series is set to arrive in South Africa in March 2017. Only rear wheel drive models will be available in South Africa.