BMW has announced details of the revised 5 Series Saloon and Touring range, topped off by the new BMW M5 Touring. From its launch in 2003, the E60 5 Series has received numerous accolades and the new 5 Series is set to build on that success with more performance, efficiency, practicality and owner appeal. Offering new engine technology to increase performance yet improve economy by up to 25 per cent, and class-leading comfort-focused equipment such as Lane Departure Warning System, the new 5 Series is set to remain the benchmark Executive car.
The new BMW M5 Touring
Powered by the back-to-back International Engine of the Year-winning engine driving through BMW’s unique seven-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox, the new M5 Touring offers up to 1,650 litres of boot space for owners needing to move sizeable loads…… quickly.
With the previous M5 Touring (E34) only available in left-hand drive, the arrival of the new M5 Touring marks the first time the high-performance estate has been offered to British customers. Powered by the same normally aspirated 5.0-litre V-10 cylinder engine as its Saloon counterpart, the new M5 Touring redlines at 8,250rpm. 507hp and 520Nm of torque propel the car from zero to 62mph in 4.8 seconds (only 0.1 seconds slower than the Saloon). Without the 155mph electronic limiter the new M5 Touring would be capable of achieving 200mph while still transporting the largest of loads.
These levels of performance are in part made possible by the world’s first seven-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox with Drivelogic in a production car. The gearbox features eleven different change patterns to offer the driver a personally-tuned driving experience - six settings vary speed and response of gear change in a manual mode and there are five automatic modes. A Launch Control function delivers the fastest possible acceleration from standstill.
Like the Saloon, the new M5 Touring features a three-stage DSC+ traction control system. The default mode offers drivers high levels of performance and stability. M Dynamic Mode allows an enthusiastic driver the ability to push the M5 Touring to, and beyond, the absolute limits of traction, permitting some sideslip and countersteering before the system cuts in and is selected in the M Drive Manager (see below). If the DSC button is pressed, DSC+ is completely disengaged.
BMW M’s variable M differential also offers the highest levels of driving stability and traction, especially when accelerating out of high-speed corners, with up to 100 per cent of drive being transferred to the rear wheel with most traction. Finally, the Electronic Damper Control (EDC) system offers three suspension settings to complement the prevailing driving conditions.
MDrive Manager packages these programmable settings, so that the touch of a single button sets the car up as required. Like a boy visiting his favourite sweet shop, the M5 driver can select his preferred settings for power, gearbox, EDC and DSC modes, Head-up Display and the degree of Active Seat bolster support, via the iDrive menu. One-touch of the M Drive button on the steering wheel then selects the desired combination and instantly changes the character of the car. One moment the M5 Touring is a placid and practical family car, the next it’s more akin to a track day special.
Visually, the new M5 Touring follows BMW M’s philosophy of high performance shrouded in the body of a standard car with discreet styling enhancements that highlight the potential under the skin. The larger front air dam, side sills, monikered side gills and a rear valance with BMW M’s quad tailpipes protruding all hint at the performance of the world’s most dynamic estate car.
Internally the new M5 Touring features the same enhancements as the ‘standard’ 5 Series (see below) as well as offering the Active Seat bolsters from the M5 Saloon. In addition, the Touring variant comes with BMW’s innovative iDrive control system with new short cuts - eight freely programmable buttons for instant programme selection. Finally, music aficionados can now specify the BMW Individual High End Audio system that uses 16 loud speakers to generate an ear-ringing 825 watts.
The new BMW M5 Touring starts production in March 2007 and will be priced at £67,075 on the road.
The new BMW 5 Series Saloon and Touring
A mid-life ‘refresh’ programme with new engines and technologies.
The new BMW 5 Series range features a host of innovative technologies that make the world’s best Executive car even better. Engine innovations such as High Precision Direct Injection and twin-turbocharging improve performance and economy alongside class-leading comfort technologies such as Lane Departure Warning System and Head-up Display.
Starting production in March 2007, the new BMW 5 Series range strives for the holy grail of more power, better economy and lower emissions. Delivering power and torque increases by up to 20hp and 20Nm as well as improvements in fuel economy by up to 25 per cent, it appears to have succeeded. All nine power units in the 5 Series Saloon and Touring ranges are either entirely new to the car, or have been significantly revised over the previous model. The dramatic increases in performance and economy come courtesy of a number of new technologies that combine to provide significant and noticeable driver benefits.
High Precision Fuel Injection is offered for the first time on all six-cylinder petrol-powered 5 Series models. Piezo crystal injectors that deliver a precise amount of fuel mixture, exactly when required, offer a significant increase in performance and economy. This is complemented by a BMW first – Brake Energy Regeneration.
Brake Energy Regeneration appears for the first time on any BMW and forms a key component of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics programme. Efficient Dynamics focuses on three specific areas – weight, dynamics and consumption – with the intent of developing more power from less fuel in a lower-weight vehicle.
Brake Energy Regeneration takes advantage of energy currently lost through the engine over-run during braking. It uses Intelligent Alternator Control and a high-capacity Absorbent Glass Mat battery. When engine over-run is recognised, the Intelligent Alternator engages and powers up the battery to 100 per cent with what would have been lost energy. It also reduces drag on the engine by only engaging and charging when required. Brake Energy Regeneration will combine with other technologies and other products during 2007 to provide even greater efficiency benefits. In isolation, it provides an average three per cent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions.
All 5 Series Saloon and Touring models come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox (automatic standard on 535d variants). A high proportion of customers are expected to specify BMW’s new six-speed automatic gearbox, with its new, more ergonomic, gear selector. Using upgraded hydraulics, an innovative torque converter and powerful software, the new automatic ‘box responds to the slightest movement of the throttle pedal with reaction times increased by 40 per cent, and shift times halved.
Buyers of 550i, 540i, 530i, 535d and 530d models can opt for BMW’s all-new Automatic Sports Transmission. One press of the Sport button behind the gear lever allows shifts to be made using steering wheel mounted paddles to deliver even faster, more dynamic, changes.
Alongside pioneering options such as Head-up Display and Night Vision, BMW 5 Series Saloon and Touring owners can now specify BMW’s latest comfort innovation – Lane Departure Warning System. A camera mounted next to the interior mirror monitors the white lines on the road ahead and, if the car crosses the line without obvious intent or without the indicator being used, the driver is notified by a vibration through the steering wheel (standard on 550i and 535d models - £350 on other models).
Customers can also now specify Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go. Previously Active Cruise Control would maintain a constant speed while monitoring the traffic ahead, and reacted to a slowing vehicle in front by slowing the BMW. With Stop and Go, the new system keeps the car a fixed distance ahead, even in slow moving stop and go traffic situations, bringing the car to a complete stop. If the period of standstill is less than three seconds, the car will resume its programmed speed (Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go costs £1,050).
Design and styling
With the car still winning accolades and new customers alike, the designers have simply evolved the details of the car’s design. At the front, the headlamps and indicator units use clear glass technology while the kidney grille now sits flush with the bumper. The air duct in the front valance has also been redesigned, while at the side the sill has an additional contour line. At the rear, the indicators, running and brake lights now use horizontal LED light bars to emphasise the width of the rear.
Inside, the changes refine ergonomic details. The door panels have been redesigned, with the window switches now integrated into the horizontal armrests. In common with other recently launched BMWs, drivers now have the benefit of eight freely programmable ‘favourite’ buttons on the dashboard enabling them to more easily access their most frequently used features such as one-touch navigation destination input, or telephone calls.
The new BMW 5 Series range starts production in March 2007, with prices ranging from £26,980 OTR (520d SE Saloon) to £49,805 OTR (550i M Sport Touring).