What is it?
This is the first plug-in hybrid 5 Series. It’s not the first hybrid 5 Series, that being the ActiveHybrid 5 available with the last-generation model range. Less than one percent of the 15,000 or so Fives BMW sells here yearly have been part-electric. The ActiveHybrid 5 was expensive, equipped with six cylinders and 302bhp, 149g/km CO2 performance to suit the US, which is why it made little ground here.
BMW hopes that will change, dramatically, with this new 530e iPerformance hybrid, which is a plug-in propelled by a 181bhp 2.0 litre TwinPower Turbo petrol engine and a 112bhp electric motor. The crucial difference lies in some key numbers: the 530e’s £44,765 list price is £770 more than for a 530d SE and £7405 more than for a 520d Efficient Dynamics, while its 46g/km CO2 emissions score it a 9% BIK rating compared to the 520d ED’s 23% and the 530d’s 26%. That’s vastly more competitive than for the ActiveHybrid 5 and enough, BMW thinks, to see it selling around 5000 plug-in 5 Series in a full year.