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BMW locks-in 5 Series launch line-up

High-5: BMW’s new 5 Series will launch in a matter of months with a choice of four engines and will include technology such as gesture controls, self-parking functionality and Connected smartphone features.

March launch for petrol and diesel BMW 5 Series with plug-in hybrid and M5 incoming


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24 Oct 2016

BMW Australia has confirmed that its new 5 Series will arrive Down Under in March with a four variant line-up that will be followed by an electrified plug-in hybrid version and flagship M5.

Just seven days after the global reveal of the German brand’s new large luxury sedan, BMW Australia flew two examples to Melbourne as an exclusive preview of the new model for local dealers and media.

Accompanying the new 5 Series was BMW Munich product expert Sven Arens, who revealed that the new range will launch with two petrol and two diesel engine choices.

“Today we are starting production for Australia with two four-cylinder engines and two-six cylinder engines, each one is a diesel and each one is a petrol,” he said.

The turbo petrol and diesel engines will likely kick off with a 140kW/400Nm 2.0-litre diesel four-cylinder in the 520d and an 185kW/350Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder in the 530i, while a 195kW/620Nm turbo-diesel six is most likely for the 530d and a 250kW/450Nm 3.0-litre six-cylinder for a 540i.

In international markets, these engines will be available with an all-paw xDrive option but at this stage it is still unclear if all-wheel-drive traction will make its way into the mainstream 5 Series range.

Mr Arens also confirmed a full-fat V8-powered all-wheel-drive M5 and a plug-in hybrid 5 Series is on its way with the latter being powered by the same 185kW/420Nm powertrain as the 330e.

“Electric cars are coming and that would be too big of a step for most customers, we need an intermediate step,” he said. “The plug-in hybrids are a perfect step, I’m using one myself and it is a phenomenal driving experience.”

Other technologies featured in the next-generation 5 Series will make use of four cameras positioned around the car and includes forward-facing collision detection, active cruise control, speed limit information and lane-keep assist.

Through the BMW Connected application, drivers will also be able to lock and unlock doors, set appointment times and GPS destinations, and even receive images from the car’s cameras – all from a smartphone.

All 5 Series variants will come with an unlimited data usage sim card already pre-installed with three years of traffic updates and ConnectedDrive Services, but customers will be offered a renewal after the three years.

The next-gen 5 Series borrows many styling and technological cues from its 7 Series sibling – including a redesigned kidney grille, smart key compatibility, gesture controls and self-parking functionality – and when asked about model differentiation, Mr Arens said each model is clearly separate from one another.

“Here is a very, very, very simple example,” he said. “This one (5 Series) has traditional suspension, the 7 Series has air suspension.

“It (7 Series) is still on its own planet, the technology included in the 7 is still a step up, and it is still worth investing in the extra amount to get the ultimate luxury machine which is the 7 Series.

“There are technologies that are definitely not available on the 3 Series for several reasons and the main reason being pricing. Otherwise you’d have a 3 Series at par or even above a 5 Series and nobody would buy it.

“Electrical adjustment of the steering column, 5 Series and upwards. The dynamic drive, the anti-roll bars, way too expensive for a 3 Series, available on a 5 Series and upwards. Those are technologies for what we internally call our high-end vehicles.

“As fabulous as the 3 Series is, the 5 Series is still a step upwards. Compare it to going from premium economy to business class, and 7 Series being first class. There must be a difference.”

While the 7 Series is built around a Carbon Core – a composite of steel, aluminium and carbon-fibre reinforced plastic – the 5 Series had to forego the advanced platform due a restriction in materials.

BMW projects it will build 2.84 million 5 Series cars across its seven year lifespan, which will see it out until 2024. Its carbon-fibre manufacturing is at capacity building the i3 electric hatch, i8 sportscar and 7 Series luxury sedan.

However, according to Mr Arens, it is the styling of the 5 Series that draws customers, with the use of gloss materials on the front of the vehicle giving a “luxurious feeling” when compared with matte finishes.

“The first reason why people buy a 5 Series is for the design, and what they like is evolutionary design,” he said. “They don’t like it to be revolutionised. We can prove that with numbers.

“The E60 – the Chris Bangle car – which was revolutionary, was not that big of a seller. So it shows that we need to evolve, slowly but surely.”

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