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New models - BMW - 5 Series - 520i

BMW 5 Series goes turbo-petrol four

Starting point: The addition of a frugal new petrol engine has seen the entry price of the BMW 5 Series range drop by nearly $3000.

2.0-litre TwinPower petrol engine cuts BMW 5 Series entry price by more than $5000

BMW logo6 Feb 2012

BMW Australia has added two new turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol models to its 5 Series range, lowering the large executive sedan’s entry price by almost $3000.

The Bavarian brand’s TwinPower four-cylinder – also seen in the X1, Z4, 1 Series and new 3 Series – is now available in two states of tune in the 5 Series range, with a 135kW version powering the 520i and a 180kW iteration fitted to the 528i.

Because it escapes luxury car tax (LCT) by coming in under the federal government fuel economy threshold of 7.1 litres per 100km, the new 520i now opens the 5 Series range at $77,900 plus on-road costs.

That is $2800 less than the former 5 Series range-opener and volume-seller, the 520d turbo-diesel, pricing for which was trimmed late last year to $80,700.

The cheapest Audi A6 – the new 2.0 TFSI – is the same price, while Lexus will soon launch its new 2.5-litre V6-powered GS250, priced from under $80,000, while the most affordable Mercedes-Benz E-class, the 1.8-litre 250 CGI Avantgarde, costs $95,300.

The BMW 520i is also more than $22,000 cheaper than the previous 5 Series petrol price leader, the $99,900 six-cylinder 528i, with which LCT is payable because its combined fuel consumption rating is 8.0L/100km.

14 center imageLeft: BMW 528i badge and engine. Below: 5 Series Touring and M5 sedan.

However, the re-engined 528i, which replaces the 3.0-litre normally aspirated inline petrol six in its predecessor, slashes fuel consumption by 14 per cent, to just 6.7L/100km (C02 emissions also improve, by 22g to 156g/km).

Therefore the new four-cylinder 528i costs $98,200 plus ORCs, and although it displaces a full litre less engine capacity than its predecessor, BMW claims the new model is 0.4 seconds faster to 100km/h, at 6.3 seconds. The 520i hits 100km/h in a claimed eight seconds.

The combined fuel reading for the new 520i, which also comes standard with the latest eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, is 6.4L/100km, which outstrips not only the petrol 250 CGI BlueEfficiency at 7.2L/100km, while CO2 emissions of 149g/km is not much more than the E250 CDI’s 141g/km.

However, these figures fall short of the 5 Series’ own efficiency benchmark, set by the upgraded diesel 520d at a frugal 4.7L/100km – down from 5.1L/100km.

Both the 520i and 528i engines combine a twin-scroll turbocharger with Valvetronic variable valve control and double VANOS camshaft control, with the 520i producing 135kW of power between 5000 and 6250rpm and 270Nm of torque from just 1250rpm to 4000rpm.

The new 520i comes standard with a fuel-saving idle-stop function, plus dynamic driving control, EcoPro economy driving mode, 17-inch alloy wheels, ‘Business’ satellite-navigation, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control with braking function, USB audio interface, Bluetooth, climate-control, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, a through-loading system and anti-dazzle interior mirror.

In addition, the new 528i – which develops 180kW between 5000-6500rpm and 350Nm between a wider 1250-4800rpm – gains electric seat adjustment, ‘Professional’ navigation and internet functionality.

Both new four-cylinder petrol engines come as part of a 2012 model-year refresh for the 5 Series which as we reported when the other models became available in November brings active pre-crash safety protection as standard across all models, as well as other engine tweaks, price cuts and specification changes.

While the 520d brings better fuel efficiency and a $2800 price cut, the 535d’s six-cylinder 3.0-litre TwinPower variable-turbo diesel engine delivers an extra 10kW of peak power at 230kW while cutting fuel consumption by eight per cent.

Although that helps trim the 535d’s 0-100km/h sprint time by 0.2 seconds, to 5.5 seconds, the 535d price comes down a substantial $13,500, to $120,900.

The 3.0-litre turbo-petrol 535i has come in for an even bigger price cut, down $14,000 to $115,600, although the withdrawal of some equipment results in what BMW says is a $7000 improvement in value.

Thanks to the addition of idle-stop, the 535i’s fuel economy has been increased by 0.7L/00km to 7.7L/100km, while the 0-100km/h sprint now happens in 5.9 seconds – down from 6.1 seconds.

The flagship 4.4-litre V8 550i remains at $179,900 – and continues to do without idle-stop – but BMW is claiming a $3000 improvement in value due to added features.

The new 520i and revised 528i come on stream just as BMW crowns its latest (F10) 5 Series range – launched in Australia in June 2010 – with the all-new M5 sledgehammer, while the German maker’s first hybrid model will complete the 5 Series line-up by mid-2012.

BMW 5 Series pricing(before on-roads):
Sedan
520i petrol (a) $77,900
528i petrol (a) $98,200
535i petrol (a) $115,600
550i petrol (a)$179,900
520d diesel (a)$80,700
535d diesel (a)$120,900
Touring
535i petrol (a)$126,200
520d diesel(a)$89,900

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