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Future models - BMW - 5 Series - 530i Touring

First look: New BMW wagon revealed

New look: The 5 Series Touring has increased luggage capacity over its predecessor.

More luggage capacity, less weight for new generation BMW 5 Series Touring

24 Feb 2004

THE wagon version of BMW’s controversially styled mid-size 5 Series luxury entrant will be launched at next week’s Geneva motor show – but the load-lugger is yet to be confirmed for Australia.

BMW Australia says it has the car under consideration, but a green light would still mean an arrival date no sooner than mid-2005.

If Touring does come back, it would most likely be as a 3.0-litre six-cylinder 530i, a model not listed as part of the launch line-up. Europe should see it later this year.

Of course, a limiting factor for the 5 Touring here is the advent of the X5 and X3 cross-over vehicles, which offer wagon bodies and all-wheel drive street cred at a much lower price than it can offer.

The old Touring was offered for $105,200, the latest X5 3.0i starts for $81,400 and the excellent 3.0-litre diesel for $81,900.

14 center image Speaking of engines, BMW will show two petrol models, the 525i and 545i, at Geneva, along with 525d and 530d six-cylinder turbo-diesel engines.

It will also preview a new oil burner featuring a first for the automotive industry – two-stage turbocharging, which has previously been employed in marine engines.

Due in the 5 Series sedan and Touring as the 535d in the spring of 2004, Australian time, this engine produces a spectacular 200kW and 560Nm – that’s more torque than an E39 M5.

The new Touring totes a larger, lighter body with a substantially enlarged cabin and luggage area, complete with extra convenience features such as remote tailgate unlocking and automatic load cover retraction.

The luggage area expands from 530 litres to 1650 litres, depending on the rear seat configuration. That’s an increase of up 125 litres on the old car.

In V8 4.4-litre 545i guise, the brawniest 5 Series Touring comes with the option of BMW’s Formula One-derived Sequential Manual Gearbox II, with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts.

The complete list of technical features available on all 5 Series sedans is carried over, including Active Steering, Dynamic Drive, Active Cruise Control and Head-Up Display.

The Touring is almost 50kg lighter than the car it replaces. This is due to the use of lightweight materials throughout the car. Like the sedan, it features an all-aluminium front end, including bonnet, wings, brake callipers and front suspension.

The chassis is also made from aluminium and includes an integral arm rear axle and automatic self-levelling rear suspension as standard. The rear axle arrangement is designed to keep the boot floor flat and avoid the suspension turrets intruding into the loading space.

Additional storage space is also available below the luggage floor with a lockable floor panel supported by gas struts. Below this is a 35-litre area for the spare wheel and tyre that becomes useable storage space when the car is specified with run-flat tyres.

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