BMW has revealed a raft of upgrades for its class-leading 5 Series to fend off the newer Audi A6 and refreshed Mercedes-Benz E-Class, including new technology, new engines and the introduction of a 523bhp M Performance variant to the UK line-up.
A hardcore CS version of the V8-powered M5 super-saloon is coming later this year, too.
The suite of updates to BMW’s executive mainstay also brings a new 389bhp 545e xDrive plug-in hybrid model into the line-up, plus UK customers will be able to order the 523bhp M550i for the first time. This variant has been on sale in mainland Europe since last year.
Launched in 2016, the seventh-generation 5 Series has continued the success of its predecessors, with more than 600,000 sales achieved worldwide to date. The facelifted model is scheduled to reach UK dealerships in both its saloon and Touring estate guises in July.
In a continuation of its electrification strategy, BMW has fitted its mild-hybrid system to all 5 Series petrol and diesel models with either a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine. First introduced to the line-up on the 520d last year, it adds a 48V starter-generator and a second battery.
Together, they provide an 11bhp temporary boost to the engine’s power reserves as well as a number of new fuel-saving features. These include a coast function that shuts down the engine for periods of trailing throttle, improved brake-energy recuperation and the ability for the engine to be automatically switched off at speeds below 9mph.
Among the petrol models are the four-cylinder 181bhp 520i and the 248bhp 530i, as well as the six-cylinder 329bhp 540i. The 530i and 540i are available with standard rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive. Above them is the four wheel-drive M550i xDrive. Available in saloon form only, its turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine delivers 523bhp and 553lb ft torque, enabling a 0-62mph time of 4.0sec.
Three diesels are again available: the four-cylinder 188bhp 520d and two six-cylinder models, the 281bhp 530d and 335bhp 540d xDrive. The 520d and 530d come with standard rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive, while the 540d is available with four-wheel drive exclusively. Changes to the six-cylinder diesel engine – including the adoption of two-stage turbocharging and new common-rail piezo injectors that operate at up to 2700bar – bring gains of 20bhp and 22lb ft to the 530d and of 20bhp and 15lb ft to the 540d.
The petrol-electric plug-in hybrid 530e, which comes with standard rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive, has been updated with the latest evolution of BMW’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. However, it continues to deliver the same nominal combined system output of 248bhp and 310lb ft as before, with 288bhp and the same 310lb ft available for 10sec via a so-called XtraBoost function. On a full charge, it has a WLTP-certified electric-only range of up 42 miles.