Studio and technical shots of the all-new BMW 5-series
28 November 2009

This is the new BMW 5-series four-door saloon, the sixth generation of its second biggest seller, which first appeared in 1972.

Despite its familiar format, the new BMW 5-series, which goes on sale after the Geneva motor show next March, breaks new ground by importing much of the equipment and technology of the recently launched 7-series, reinstating a driver-oriented fascia design which BMW dropped for one generation, and adopting a sophisticated new double-wishbone front suspension set-up.

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BMW 5-series's design explained

There are seven engine options at launch, and BMW is stressing the importance of the UK market (and that fact that it has noticed the good reception of Mercedes’ new E-class) by issuing UK prices more than four months early.

Design and dimensionsThe biggest change to the proportions of the new 5-series is its adoption of an 80mm longer wheelbase, at 2970mm.

This improves rear cabin room allows a long bonnet, a low roofline and 50/50 weight distribution, and gives the car balanced proportions with relatively short overhangs front and rear. The kidneys of the grille are vertical rather than raked, designers say, to portray the car’s sporting character.

The styling relationship with the outgoing 5-series is obvious, but the car is less controversial than its predecessor, with a sleeker appearance apparently designed to enhance the visual differences between the 5-series and the 3-series, which has adopted a more grown-up look.

The saloon’s wheelbase is still 100mm shorter than the 3070mm shared by the 7-series and the 5 GT.

ChassisBMW promises “a more composed ride” with no reduction in dynamic capability now that the 5-series has adopted a longer wheelbase, and the 7-series’ sophisticated double-wishbone, coil-sprung front suspension system to replace the traditional MacPherson struts. The rear suspension is an independent multi-link system.

All new 5s get electric power steering, with Servotronic (speed-dependent) assistance, which saves weight and drag on the engine. It’s a big step for BMW, which has continued to prefer the ‘feel’ of electro-hydraulic systems as rivals have adopted electric set-ups.

More sophisticated 5s will have the latest electronic chassis traction control and stability equipment as before, but for the first time they will have a driver-operated chassis configurator. Called DDC (Driver Dynamic Control), it has settings for normal, comfort, sport and sport+, and it groups functions in one control. BMW’s development chief Klaus Draeger, said, “We have built a car as agile and as lightfooted as a 3-series”.

Selection of any setting will automatically change and match parameters for steering assistance, throttle sensitivity, auto gearchange characteristics, the degree of intervention of the stability control, and, if the car has adjustable dampers, its ride character.

Among other optional gadgets will be park assistance sensors, lane departure warning, surround-view cameras, head-up display, night vision and speed limit monitoring systems.

Engines and transmissionsThe new 5-series powertrains maintain BMW’s trick of delivering class-leading pace with impressive fuel economy and low CO2 output, grouped under Efficient Dynamics.

The biggest-selling UK model is likely to be the 1995cc, 181bhp 520d, whose 280lb ft delivers a 0-62 mph time of 8.1sec and a 141mph top speed. It offers combined fuel consumption of 56.5mpg, while emitting just 132g/km of CO2.

Above that are two models powered by the same 2993cc straight-six diesel: the 201bhp 525d and the 242bhp 530d. The more powerful of these sprints from 0-62mph in just 6.3sec, while emitting 166g/km of CO2 and returning 44.8.mpg.

The four petrol engines comprise two naturally aspirated straight sixes (201bhp 523i and 254bhp 528i), a single-turbocharged straight six (302bhp 535i) and the 401bhp, twin-turbo V8 550i.

Even the slowest of these takes just 7.9sec for a 0-62mph sprint and gets within a whisker of 150mph flat out. The 550i SE, with peak torque of 448lb ft, can accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.0sec. It returns 27.2mpg and emits 243g/km of CO2.

BMW’s eight-speed auto gearbox will be available as on option on all models (it offers lower CO2 emissions than the manual on the 525d) and as standard on the 550i; a six-speed manual is standard on all other cars, as is stop-start.

PricesBMW UK has revealed prices more than four months ahead of launch, probably to interrupt the success of the new E-class and to highlight improved standard equipment levels.

The 520d SE will cost £28,165 on the road, £625 more than the outgoing model. But this includes extra kit (leather seats are now standard on all 5s, along with an improved stereo) which would previously have cost over £2000.

List price of the lowly petrol 523i SE is £30,560 and the 550i SE costs £49,440.

UK bosses expect right-hand-drive cars to be available “within weeks” of the 5-series’ launch date on 20 March.

Steve Cropley

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Comments
34

28 November 2009

looks stunning and in my opinion it has always been a better alternative to the cumbersome e class

28 November 2009

- i think that the DIRTY Fleet that BM are going to supply the olympics that has somewhere near double the emissions of the clean fleet that Nissan-Renault where providing as well as the BMW choice coming without all the great UK jobs, opportunities and further revenue streams that came from Nissan-Renualt shows a lot about BMW.

-comparing how BMW treated Rover compared to how Ford has lovingly handled the sale of Aston and Jag and currently doing the same with Volvo shows a lot about BMW

-the way that they look to have cut and run from Sauber where compared to Honda (who make cars in the UK) who performed with the highest honour with regards to brawn shows a lot about BMW

-i think the way that the design has regressed to a dull and boring design, a design that does not fit and or is proportioned correctly whilst Jags designs flow and are complete; shows a lot about BMW

-if you are in the market for this kind of car then the Jag is great, you get that wonderful warm glow knowing that TATA spend massive amounts in the UK on R&D, the cars are designed here and built here and thus keep lots of UK people in work and they a really good - the warm glow you get with Jag is fantastic.

-for a feeling of dullness, a feeling of regression, a feeling of cut and run, a feeling not sticking to your comments or having any due responsibility, a feeling of depriving your fellow countrymen and women out of jobs and new opportunities, a feeling of selling you country down the river, a feeling of emptyness and a feeling of BMW making you feel that you cannot afford a 7 series or that you can only just buy more than a 3 series and rubbing it into all your pours i.e. if you like feeling inadequate - well for all that there is BMW.

Anonymous

28 November 2009

[quote CapsLock]compared to Honda (who make cars in the UK)[/quote]

Dont BMW make cars in the UK (Mini)?

You need to get over yourself and stop boring everyone due to your tireless rants about German car makers who happen to make some great cars.

Its starting to get very boring and often doesnt relate in any way to the article

Yaaaaaaawn.....................

28 November 2009

[quote jmf]Dont BMW make cars in the UK (Mini)?[/quote]

And the Rolls Royce range.

Oddly I clicked on the "More pictures" link in the article and it just took me to the Autocar Latest News page.

28 November 2009

Capslock please give it a rest, comment on the topic!

Also not only is every MINI built in the UK and every Rolls, as mentioned above, also BMW build EVERY SINGLE 4 cylinder petrol FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD, at there Hams Hall site.

Did you know that (ignoring the dealerships) BMW employ over 50,000 people FULL TIME in the UK!?

So please get your facts right! (though granted they do say "you cant teach and old dog new tricks")

Back on topic (and hoping to stay there) I think the new 5 looks great, very nicely done, I cant wait for the MSport and the M5

28 November 2009

[quote VX220EDDIE]looks stunning and in my opinion it has always been a better alternative to the cumbersome e class[/quote]

Stunning isn't a word i'd use, attractive may be but nothing more. To me it looks nothing more than a large 3-Series (even down to the rear end, bonet design and crease along the side) with a toned-down 7-Series nosed grafted on. Rear wheel arch apart the E-Class looks more striking, expensive and has real presence although i wouldn't go as far to say it's a stunner either.

Either way, with the E-Class actually being head and shoulders above its rival for probably the first time ever in living memory could this 5-Series struggle to be top-dog?!

28 November 2009

[quote Vidge 123]

Did you know that (ignoring the dealerships) BMW employ over 50,000 people FULL TIME in the UK!? [/quote]

Come again?

This new 5-Series looks to be what all the people who switched from buying BMWs six or seven years ago have been waiting for. Here's hoping it rides like an old school car too.

Incidentally, the article links are broken for me also. But this is Autocar.

28 November 2009

yep, no working links for me either. Personally, I'd still take the E-class. It has better proportions and looks a damn sight more expensive and oozes quality. Where as this...doesn't. I will miss the Bangle 5er when it goes....one of the most handsome saloons of recent times. It's definitely up there with 159 and Quattroporte.

28 November 2009

Shut up all you lot! Every one's going on about how this car does not look all that good, but when the current 5 was launched people went on and on about how ugly it was and how it would never do well. Even all the car mags didn't approve the looks. Now your all saying you will miss it and its such a nice looking car. I agree it looks great but am certain the new one will look good in the flesh... The E class however looks like a Toyota camry

28 November 2009

- vidge, please get your facts straight, i did not say that BM didn't employ staff in the UK? however, please do say how the total is made up ie XXXX at mini etc and then the rest is where? (or do you not know?) - they do not employ 50K staff for mini, so where are the rest??

-BM won the contract and will supply BM cars to the contract which will include some mini cars no doubt; irrespective they cannot match the Nissan - Renault fleet for emmissions or opportunities for UK jobs, exports, UK business or the opportunity to led the world - can they? answer no BMW cannot and therefore should not have got the contract.

-so much for BM efficient dynamics! so "Dirty BMW" is very true.

- BMW marked car i.e. 3, 5, etc ARE NOT MADE HERE, Mini owned by BM have cars made here - so you can argue you can get the warm glow from buying a mini - to a point or maybe a RR to a point.

-look at what BMW did to Rover, all those folks out of work; Ford was very delicate with its disposals, BMW just cut and ran; thus:

-for a feeling of dullness, a feeling of regression, a feeling of cut and run, a feeling not sticking to your comments or having any due responsibility, a feeling of depriving your fellow countrymen and women out of jobs and new opportunities:-

- a feeling of selling you country down the river, a feeling of emptyness and a feeling of BMW making you feel that you cannot afford a 7 series or that you can only just buy more than a 3 series and rubbing it into all your pours like the cars polluting cars (by comparison) for the Olympics i.e. if you like feeling inadequate - well for all that there is BMW.

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