BMW has updated its mid-size 5 series sedan and Touring (wagon) range, adding a right-hand drive M5 Touring model to suit markets such as the UK, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Changes include minor exterior and interior restyling, updated engines and some new technology.
All nine engines offered are either entirely new to the line, or have been significantly revised, and offer power and torque increases of up to 20hp and 20Nm as well as improvements in fuel economy by up to 25%.
Brake energy regeneration appears for the first time on a BMW model and is a key component of the automaker’s so-called ‘efficient dynamics programme’ which focuses on weight, dynamics and consumption to develop more power from less fuel in a lower-weight vehicle.
Brake energy regeneration takes advantage of energy currently lost through the engine over-run during braking. It uses intelligent alternator control and a high-capacity absorbent glass mat battery. When engine over-run is recognised, the alternator engages and powers up the battery to 100% with what would have been lost energy. It also reduces drag on the engine by only engaging and charging when required. On its own, it provides an average 3% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions.
A lane departure warning system is now standard or optional according to model. A camera mounted next to the interior mirror monitors the white lines on the road ahead and, if the car crosses the line without obvious intent or without the indicator being used, the driver is notified by a vibration through the steering wheel (Citroen’s version vibrates the seat cushion).
Active cruise control can now be optionally ordered with ‘stop and go’. Active cruise control maintains a constant speed while monitoring the traffic ahead, and reacts to a slowing vehicle in front by slowing the car. With the addition of stop and go, the new system keeps the car a fixed distance ahead, even in slow moving stop and go traffic situations, bringing the car to a complete stop. If the period of standstill is less than three seconds, the car will resume its programmed speed.
Styling updates include clear glass headlamp and indicator units at the front while the signature BMW kidney grille now sits flush with the bumper. The air duct in the front valance has also been redesigned, while at the side the sill has an additional contour line. At the rear, the indicators, tail and brake lights now use horizontal LED light bars to emphasise the width of the rear.
Inside, the door panels have been redesigned, with the window switches now integrated into the horizontal armrests. In common with other recently launched BMWs, drivers now have eight programmable ‘favourite’ buttons on the dashboard enabling them to more easily access their most frequently used features such as one-touch navigation destination input, or telephone calls.