BMW has announced plans for the all-new, fifth-generation 5 Series. On sale in September 2003 in the UK (July in the EU), the 5 Series will feature a combination of innovative technology and lightweight structures that will ensure it retains its number one position in the Executive Car market. At launch the 2.0-litre petrol and 3.0-litre petrol and diesel saloons will be available, followed by the 2.5-litre and 4.4-litre petrol variants in October.
September 2003 launch models:
Model Power (bhp) Torque (Nm) Top speed 0-62 mph Economy
520i 170 210 143 mph 9.0 sec 31.4 mpg
530i 231 300 155 mph 6.9 sec 29.7 mpg
530d 218 500 152 mph 7.1 sec 40.9 mpg
How to improve on perfection?
BMW has set itself the ultimate task in launching a new 5 Series - the benchmark car in its current guise. Innovative technology combined with weight-saving processes, that knock up to 65 kg off the current 5 Series figure, ensure that the best just gets better and provides a genuine new standard for driving dynamics, safety, economy and performance.
The inclusion of all-aluminium suspension, second-generation iDrive technology, adaptive headlights and Brake Force Display with the availability of Active Steering, Dynamic Drive Control and Active Cruise Control offer some indication of the seemingly impossible step up from the current 5 Series. The impressive technology on offer is supplemented by more space throughout and a new design, inside and out, that clearly shows the new 5 as the most powerful, dynamic and sporting car in its class.
More oomph, less juice
The combination of a new weight-saving aluminium chassis and bodywork structures, and existing super-efficient and powerful engines produces market-leading performance and economy figures in the new 5 Series. The front section of the car and all suspension parts are now aluminium and combine with either BMW’s silken-smooth bi-VANOS petrol engines or the renowned and recently uprated 3.0-litre second-generation common-rail diesel. This combination produces top speeds, 0 to 62 mph figures and fuel consumption rates that outshine all competitors. New six speed manual gearboxes in 3.0-litre petrol and diesel models also contribute to the car’s dynamism.
The 520i, 530i and 530d will be joined in the range in October by the 2.5-litre, 525i (192 bhp/245 Nm) and the V8, 4.4-litre, 545i offering 333 bhp and 450 Nm of torque.
Technological advances enhance the impressive performance figures ensuring that the new 5 Series offers levels of handling, agility and comfort never before experienced in this class.
Active Steering - AFS (optional)
Rather than developing pure drive-by-wire systems that can isolate the driver from the road, BMW has taken the initiative in developing AFS that maintains a mechanical link between the front wheels and the steering wheel, and retains an ‘authentic’ steering feel for the driver.
Active Steering varies the steering transmission ratio electronically in direct relation to the style and speed of driving and road conditions. Under normal road conditions at low and medium speeds, the steering becomes more direct, requiring less steering effort of the driver (i.e. turns of the steering wheel), increasing the car’s agility in, say, city traffic or when parking. At high speeds the steering becomes less direct offering improved directional stability. When cornering at high speeds, or when undertaking sudden movements, the steering stiffens up by monitoring increases in the yaw rate.
The system is networked to the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) electronic driver aid and reduces DSC interventions, thereby offering more control to the driver and increased comfort for the passengers.
Dynamic Drive (optional)
Dynamic Drive active suspension filters out bumps and suppresses virtually all body roll on cornering through the presence of two active anti-roll bars physically integrated into the front and rear axles. This further enhances agility and stability. Up to 80 per cent of a car’s normal body roll in sharp bends is removed by Dynamic Drive, which also has active safety implications since directional stability is enhanced when taking emergency evasive actions.
Active Cruise Control (optional from 2004)
First introduced on the new 7 Series, Active Cruise Control is a radar-based system that automatically controls the distance to the car in front. The BMW driver selects a comfortable distance he/she wishes to cruise behind other vehicles and the system automatically cuts power if that distance is infringed. Cruise control is still engaged, however, and as soon as the selected distance is available again, the car automatically speeds up to the desired cruising speed.
A Vision of Safety
New active safety measures feature on the new 5 Series with Adaptive Headlights and Brake Force Display reducing the risk of an accident front and rear. Optional Adaptive bi-xenon headlights swivel by up to 15 degrees left and right depending on the car’s steering angle, yaw rate and road speed in order to illuminate more of the road ahead when driving through a bend. Brake Force Display enlarges the brake light area when the driver brakes sharply. This technology uses Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology and offers that extra split second for the driver behind to react to heavy braking ahead. This technology awaits homologation in the EU, but once introduced only requires activation of the software already installed in the 5 Series.
The new 5 Series will also feature the option of a Head-up display in future models, which presents vital information relevant to the driver directly on the windscreen in his/her line of vision. The driver can select what information is displayed (road speed or navigation instructions for example) and never has to take his/her eyes off the road. This information is displayed in a way that does not impinge on visibility.
Looks the business
The new 5 Series will be instantly recognisable as a BMW, yet it stands out with bold styling that displays the car’s agility and dynamic prowess. The muscular front end features dramatic curved headlights that wrap around the bonnet and the car looks more coupé-like than any other large executive car.
As well as more interior space, front and rear, and a far larger boot than the current model, the new 5 Series features a modern and dramatic cockpit area of clean lines and clear surfaces. These design cues are based around a second generation iDrive system that is now placed adjacent to the gearstick in the central console. The lines from this console flow into the dashboard, providing distinct and elegant styling. Another interesting detail is the new automatic adaptive air conditioning, which maintains humidity within the car that counteracts the normal drying effect of traditional air-conditioning units. This will be standard equipment on all models.
Jim O’Donnell, BMW Great Britain’s managing director said: "The new BMW 5 Series is incredibly important to us. It represents the heart of BMW and has become the UK’s number one executive car, both in sales charts and independent polls. The new model has to do the seemingly impossible - be even better. Having seen and driven it, I am happy to say it is another step forward and it will satisfy on all fronts, whether the buyer is looking for performance, frugality, great styling or technical innovations.
"I believe that the new 5 Series will become the Executive Car of choice just like its predecessor," he concluded.
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