Published on October 23rd, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BMW 5-Series, A Company Success Story
The introduction of the new BMW 5-Series provides the latest highlight in the development of the company’s longest-serving model family; the BMW 5-Series has been a fixture in the BMW portfolio since 1972 – longer than any other current model. It didn’t take the 5-Series long to establish itself as a paragon of driving pleasure and aesthetic appeal in its segment. And today it can add efficiency and innovation to the list of disciplines in which it leads the way in the executive car market.
The BMW 5-Series Sedan currently rolling off the assembly line is the 6th generation model. An impressively harmonious balance between sporting flair and elegance has been a defining feature of the four-door variant since it first made the leap from the drawing board to the road and went on to become the most popular executive car in one market after the next.
Global market leader: BMW 5-Series defends its leading position in the world’s car markets
To date, over 6.6 million BMW 5-Series cars have left the factory. And the current BMW 5-Series is in excellent shape to surpass the record set by the highly successful last two generations, each of which sold in excess of 1.4 million units. A total of more than one million units of the current BMW 5-Series Sedan have been delivered to customers since the sales launch of the 5-Series in March 2010. No other generation has bettered these sales figures over such a short period of time. The BMW 5-Series defended its leading position as the best-selling car in its class in supreme style once again last year, further extending its upward curve of constantly rising sales figures since its market launch.
Soaking up acclaim around the world: BMW 5-Series earns top ratings, wins design awards, heads readers’ surveys
The quality and popularity of the BMW 5-Series are reflected in the host of prizes and distinctions awarded to the members of the model family around the world. In early 2013 the BMW 5-Series secured class victory – for the third year in succession – in the readers’ survey “The Best Cars” conducted by the German motoring magazine “auto, motor und sport”. This success came not long after the BMW 520d EfficientDynamics Edition with BMW BluePerformance technology had been voted “Car of the Future” and awarded the ADAC automobile association’s “Yellow Angel”. The BMW 5-Series as a whole had been named “Germany’s favourite car” in the same competition in 2011.
In addition to the red dot award, iF Product Design Award and Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany, the BMW 5-Series has also picked up a notable collection of international distinctions in recognition of its successful exterior design. Beyond these, the BMW 5-Series has been voted “Car of the Year”, “Best Car”, “Premium Car of the Year”, “Family Car of the Year” and “Executive Car of the Year” in various countries.
Design and body: Timeless elegance, cutting-edge functionality and made-to-measure luxury
Instantly captivating and enduringly compelling, the aesthetic qualities of the BMW 5-Series models have secured sales success around the globe and a wealth of awards and distinctions.
The BMW 5-Series Sedan sporting contours for the front end, xenon headlights as standard
Sporting elegance is the standout characteristic of the BMW 5-Series Sedan. Their design is defined by the hallmark BMW proportions created by a long bonnet, long wheelbase, short overhangs and set-back passenger compartment. At the front end, additional contour lines for the BMW kidney grille surround and the restructured lower air intake accentuate the car’s sporting appearance. All the variants of the new BMW 5-Series model family are fitted with xenon headlights as standard.
Joining the LED fog lamps on the options list are Adaptive LED Headlights. Here, both the dipped and main beams are generated by LED units positioned on horizontal ribs in the centre of the two light rings, which are levelled off at the bottom. Sweeping chrome inserts with engraved BMW lettering add the finishing touches to the distinctive and extremely high-class appearance of the Adaptive LED Headlights. The side indicators are now integrated into the exterior mirrors on all new BMW 5-Series models.
Interior: each model variant offers its own take on long-distance comfort, variability and a luxurious ambience
New details inside all the cars in the new BMW 5-Series provide a refined premium impression and increased functionality. In all models the Control Display of the standard iDrive operating system is now bordered on both sides by high-quality chrome trim strips. And the storage compartments and cup holders in the centre console of the Sedan and Touring now have increased capacity.
Generous levels of space, exquisite materials and high-quality workmanship all contribute to the premium ambience characteristic of the BMW 5-Series model family, as do exclusive interior design details like the standard iDrive and the black-panel technology of the instrument cluster and automatic climate control system’s display.
The iDrive Controller can be ordered as an option with a touch-sensitive surface allowing character recognition. For example, a destination can be programmed into the navigation system by spelling out the desired address using finger movements on the Controller’s surface. The existing “Speller” in the Control Display can also be used to this end, and the driver can alternate freely between the two operating methods while entering a command.
Another option unique in this segment is the multifunction instrument display designed to enhance driving pleasure. This 10.25-inch TFT cockpit screen takes its cues from the Driving Experience Control mode selected. Varying graphics and colour schemes ensure clear differentiation. In COMFORT mode the instrument display depicts a classical combination of four circular instruments. A magnifying glass function highlights the car’s current speed and revs. In ECO PRO mode the rev counter morphs into an EfficientDynamics display, which indicates how efficiently you are driving. In SPORT mode the speedometer shows the car’s speed digitally in the form of a large central figure, while the gear currently engaged is displayed in the centre of the rev counter.
The new BMW 5-Series Sedan underlines its qualities as a mile-devouring car for business use or trips away with its high level of long-distance comfort for all passengers. What’s more, its boot can hold 520 litres of cargo.
New to the BMW 5-Series: BMW Lines offer detailed personalisation
BMW 5-Series customers can choose from a wide selection of exterior paint colours. New additions to the range – and available for all models – are Calisto Grey metallic, Jatoba metallic, Mineral White metallic and Glacier Silver metallic. New variants have also been added to the line-up of optional light-alloy wheels.
Exclusively composed BMW Lines are now available for the first time to all members of the new BMW 5-Series model family as an alternative to standard specification. Customers can choose between the BMW Luxury Line and BMW Modern Line design packages, which shine the spotlight on selected facets of the car’s character to great effect. Both Lines include LED fog lamps, 18-inch (BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo: 19-inch) light-alloy wheels, B-pillar trim and exterior mirror bases in high-gloss black, illuminated door pulls with chrome trim and likewise illuminated door sill strips with aluminium inserts bearing BMW lettering. Luxury / Modern badges can be found on the front side panels.
The BMW Luxury Line exudes a high level of elegance and exclusiveness thanks to a carefully assembled selection of further particularly high-class features for the exterior and interior. The chrome finish of the trim bars in the outer sections of the lower air intake, the fronts of the black kidney grille slats, the window recess finishers, the trim strip in the rear apron and the exhaust tailpipe embellishers all add gleaming touches. Leather upholstery with exclusive stitching, a black sports leather steering wheel and interior trim strips in exquisite Fineline anthracite wood create a particularly refined interior ambience.
The BMW Modern Line package displays a strikingly contemporary and dynamic edge. The air intake bars, kidney grille slats, rear trim strip and tailpipe embellishers come in matt chrome, and the instrument panel and sports leather steering wheel can be specified as an option in the light colour shade Oyster. Interior trim strips in dark Pearl and exclusive stitching for the optional leather upholstery ensure the interior creates an eye-catching impression.
All variants of the new BMW 5-Series can also be ordered with a model-specific M Sport package, further increasing the scope for individualisation.
Powertrain and chassis: The perfect balance of dynamics and comfort
The appeal of Sheer Driving Pleasure in a premium executive class car is set to grow even further in both strength and reach with the launch of the new BMW 5-Series model family. The host of optimised details included in all variants of the new BMW 5-Series have led to (in some cases significantly) reduced fuel consumption, but with no drop-off in sporting ability. Indeed, some models now actually offer improved performance. Added to which, all engine variants now meet the stipulations of the EU6 exhaust gas standard.
The cutting-edge chassis technology underpinning all the models in the BMW 5-Series family delivers a balance of dynamic performance and ride comfort without precedent in this market segment, while the Electric Power Steering system comes with Servotronic speed-sensitive power assistance as standard. The BMW 5-Series Touring and BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo are also fitted as standard with automatic self-levelling air suspension at the rear axle. Among the options available for all members of the BMW 5-Series family are the Integral Active Steering and Adaptive Drive systems, which no other model in this segment offers.
Even more powerful, even more efficient: the V8 engine for the BMW 5-Series
The new generation of the V8 engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology for the BMW 5-Series model family takes to the stage armed with a 10 per cent rise in output yet also significantly reduced fuel consumption. The eight-cylinder unit, found under the bonnet of the BMW 550i Sedan, BMW 550i Touring and BMW 550i Gran Turismo, now also combines its two twin-scroll turbochargers and High Precision Direct Injection with VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control. The power plant generates 330 kW/450 hp and maximum torque of 650 Newton metres (479 lb-ft) from its 4.4-litre displacement. The new BMW 550i Sedan, for example, sweeps from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.6 seconds. Its average fuel economy in the EU test cycle stands at 8.6 – 8.8 litres per 100 kilometres (32.9 – 32.1 mpg imp). CO2 emissions come in at 199 – 206 g/km, depending on the tyre format specified.
As well as the BMW 535i Sedan and BMW 535i Touring models, the multi-award-winning straight-six with 225 kW/306 hp also powers the BMW 535i Gran Turismo. A pair of four-cylinder petrol engines is likewise available for the Sedan and Touring. The engine powering the BMW 520i develops 135 kW/184 hp, while the unit offered for the BMW 528i from the launch of the new BMW 5-Series boasts revisions to various details and delivers 180 kW/245 hp.
The eight-speed automatic now comes with a coasting function and can also be ordered with shift paddles on the steering wheel.
State-of-the-art chassis technology delivers dynamics and comfort to order
The fine-tuning carried out on the chassis for the new BMW 5-Series models makes for an even more assured conversion of engine power into dynamic performance and ride comfort. Both the double-wishbone front axle and the integral rear axle are made largely from aluminium. They allow the spring and damper systems to respond with great precision to inconsistencies in the road surface and ensure optimum road holding at all times. The overall result is a balance between sporting ability and ride comfort that no rival can better. What’s more, the car’s set-up can be adapted to suit individual needs or the driving situation at hand using the standard-fitted Driving Experience Control switch on the centre console. Pressing the button changes the driving mode, altering the responses of the accelerator and steering, as well as – if fitted – the shift characteristics of the automatic gearbox and the settings of the electronically controlled dampers.
The optional Dynamic Damper Control system adapts electronically to both the condition of the road and the driver’s style. And the car’s driving characteristics are further enhanced by the Adaptive Drive system, which includes active roll stabilisation. Electronically controlled anti-roll bars help to reduce the car’s body roll through quickly taken corners and in sudden changes of direction, for example. M Sport lowered suspension is also available as an option.
In addition to controlling the amount of speed-dependent steering assistance generated and regulating the steering angle of the front wheels, Integral Active Steering also adjusts the steering angle of the rear wheels. This system imbues the car with impressive agility in dynamic driving situations, comfortable and assured reactions when changing lanes and through corners, and optimised manoeuvrability through tight bends and in city traffic.