BMW has weighed anchor on the new, updated 5-series, giving us our first look at its revised styling and list of upgraded tech features.
The middleweight execu-barge has plenty of grille as you’d expect, with slightly revised styling not straying too far from the identifiable BMW spectrum but finding a few more acute angles and sharp points than we’re used to on the 5er.
The larger changes come within, though, with news that every model except the plug-in hybrid and the – we suspect – rather epic M550i xDrive will use 48v electrics and mild hybrid drive, extending the four- and six-cylinder engines’ stop-start capabilities for a miles per gallon boost.
A starter-generator connected to a second battery allows much more energy from braking to be recovered and redeployed to assist internal combustion at low engine speeds. In everyday plodding it should make for a tangible efficiency improvement.
The system will debut on a range of engines from the 181bhp 520i and 187bhp 520d to the 282bhp 530d and 288bhp 530e, with the more potent plug-in hybrid – which doesn’t exactly need an additional hybrid system – badged 545e xDrive. Topping the pile is an M550i xDrive, which musters 523bhp and will explode to 62mph in just 3.8 seconds. Still need that M5?
There’s a Touring variant that will share every powertrain other than the plug-in 545e and M550i, but it does gain a 540i option with 328bhp. Every engine is linked only to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, but at least the loss of the manual comes with the compensation of superior waftability, which arguably better suits the latest Five anyway.
Prices for the new car range from £37,480 for the impressively-spec’d 520i SE to £67,595 for the mighty M550i xDrive. The Touring adds £2250 for a like-for-like spec. There’s a long list of options from the M Sport Pro package at £2495 to the Technology Plus package for anything up to £7495 courtesy of a Bowers & Wilkins stereo upgrade.
Inside the cabin is a larger 12.3-inch screen by default; it was previously 10.25 inches. A new operating system should be faster and more capable and there’s an uprated suite of cameras and radar. The headlights can now be spec’d as BMW’s latest Laserlight LED items, too, for maximum night-busting.
A 1000-unit M Sport Edition model will help launch the car with special metallic paint and 20-inch Air Performance wheels. Two colours; Donington Grey and Tanzanite Blue, are unique to the special edition. It goes on sale in July.