While the Russian doll-style design approach has been much praised as a business model in order to achieve account-balancing economies of scale, it is much maligned by enthusiasts decrying a lack of imagination.
The sleek, conservative design undeniably acknowledges the model’s heritage, but, unsurprisingly given the shared architecture, there’s an extremely strong whiff of 7 Series about BMW’s new saloon.
The similarity, however, aside from a lack of individual identity for both models, doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
Being able to make use of BMW’s new Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform, which is predominantly aluminium, is a real benefit. It uses more aluminium, magnesium and titanium in the floorplan, bulkheads and connecting nodes than the previous model.
CLAR helps to make the car much lighter – by up to 100kg on a model-for-model basis – and increases torsional rigidity.
The 5 Series also gets a revised front double wishbone design using more aluminium components – again as a weight saving measure – along with a redesigned, and lighter, five-link set-up at the rear.