Down the years I have driven every generation of the BMW 5 Series and I have enjoyed every single one, a car that has proven to be equally popular with the business motorist and the private buyer.
Now there is news of yet another generation of this German Saloon/Touring- number eight and one which is more dynamic than ever, featuring a wealth of digital innovations and all-electric drive for the first time. It will continue to stand for advanced technology combined with sporty, elegant design and hallmark driving pleasure and it intensifies its commitment to sustainability, significantly reducing its carbon footprint by 20 to 25 per cent in the supply chain, and up to 58 per cent across its life cycle compared to its predecessor.
The exterior design of the latest generation model can be best described as sporty elegance. Described as a performance model from BMW, the all-electric i5 M60 xDrive comes as standard with specific exterior features that visually underline its outstanding sporting potential. Strong road presence is enhanced by its athletic proportions and the larger exterior measurements compared to its predecessor. The new vehicle has grown in length by 97mm to 5,06mm, in width by 32mm to 1,900mm and in height by 36mm to 1,515mm and the wheelbase has been increased by 20mm to 2,995mm for improved seating comfort, especially in the rear. In company with a pure-electric drivetrain, the latest model debuts several firsts for this iconic model; Veganza upholstery as standard from launch, encompassing the seats, dashboard and door panels while the striking BMW Interaction bar first seen in the 7 Series is now incorporated in the newcomer and the saloon is now available with a panoramic roof, the first time in the model’s history and the digital experience is taken to a new high with cutting-edge additions of AI-driven servicing notifications and the introduction of in-car gaming.
The 5 Series Saloon range will further expand early next year with the introduction of the 530e and 550e xDrive plug-in hybrid models, which are expected to offer an electric range of 79-90km (49 – 56 miles) and 87-100km (54 – 62 miles) respectively; certainly welcome e news on the economy front. Adding versatility, set to join the model family next spring the 5 Series Touring, which will also be available with all-electric drive for the first time, as well as with plug-in hybrid drive and pure combustion engine drive. Individual design features will give the i5 M60 xDrive a striking look and emphasise its dynamic performance; a front apron with black surfaces in its centre and large air intakes, a BMW kidney grille with contour line lighting, horizontal slats and M logo, side skirts and exterior mirror caps finished in high-gloss black, a unique 20-inch M light alloy wheels and a rear apron with a pronounced diffuser insert signal the top of the range model’s sporty character and an M rear spoiler lip is also standard on M Sport and i5 M60 xDrive models. M Sport Pro variants will stand out with the illuminated BMW kidney grille with black surround, the dynamic light carpet, high gloss black exterior mirror caps and a black painted M rear spoiler. In addition, there are also the M Shadow Line lights for the front and rear and red-painted brake calipers.
Like all previous generations, the new model is manufactured at the BMW Group Plant Dingolfing. Worthy of note i is the fact that, back in1973, the first vehicle manufactured at the plant was a first-generation 5 Series Saloon. In an age when vehicles such as the SUV rule, it will be interesting to see just how the new 5 Series Saloon and Touring will measure up; perhaps the market is a slender one now for such vehicles; however I suspect the 5 Series will be okay and it may even conquest.