The 2017 BMW 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid (PHEV) has been detailed in European form ahead of its expected launch in Australia in the second quarter of 2017.
Joining the core range in Europe just weeks after the March launch, the 530e is the latest model in BMW’s iPerformance PHEV range, which already includes the 330e, 740e and 740Le, X5 xDrive40e, along with the China-only X1 xDrive25Le.
Teaming a 135kW/320Nm 2.0-litre turbo four with a 70kW/250Nm electric motor, the 530e develops a combined output of 185kW and 420Nm, sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
0-100km/h takes 6.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 235km/h, while fuel use is rated at just 1.9L/100km on the European combined cycle.
The battery pack does eat into boot space, however, with the 530e claiming 410L of load-lugging capacity – 120L less than the non-hybrid variants.
Charging takes under five hours using a standard domestic power socket, dropping to under three hours when hooked up to a BMW i Wallbox (3.7kW charging capacity).
Differentiating the 530e from regular combustion-powered versions of the 5 Series are blue slats on the trademark double-kidney grille, blue wheel hub covers, a charging socket located between the driver’s side front wheel arch and A-pillar, ‘eDrive’ badging on the C-pillars and the obvious ‘530e’ badge on the bootlid.
Inside, passengers are welcomed by ‘eDrive’-branded sill panels, an ‘eDrive’ button on the centre console, along with specially-designed displays for both the driver’s instrument cluster and the central infotainment system.
Like other iPerformance models, the 530e comes with additional driving modes to control the hybrid system, including Auto eDrive, Max eDrive and Battery Control.
Auto eDrive constantly monitors driving situations and uses the petrol engine and/or electric motor depending on the conditions. It also allows an electric-only top speed of 90km/h, and is activated as the default setting every time the vehicle is started.
Max eDrive drives on electric power only, using the motor’s full power and increases the electric-only top speed to 140km/h. However, if the accelerator is pushed hard enough to kick down, the petrol engine will cut in to give a power boost.
Finally, Battery Control allows the driver to manually set the charge level for the battery, meaning a proportion of the battery can be reserved for all-electric driving later in the journey.
Drivers can choose a target charge value between 30 and 100 percent, while the vehicle keeps the battery’s charge constant or increases it to the pre-set value with the electric motor acting as a generator.
Speaking with CarAdvice, Adam Davis, product communications manager for BMW Australia, confirmed that the 530e iPerformance will be joining the local range in the second quarter of 2017.
However, pricing and specifications for the PHEV variant are still to be confirmed, and will be revealed closer to launch.