New features in the beamer include
- Active Cruise Control incorporating a Stop and Go function,
- Lane Change Warning,
- High-Beam Assist,
- Night Vision and Head-Up Display,
It makes you wonder just how much the road toll would decrease if everyone drove a BMW 5 series (or a car with equivalent safety technology).
Power figures start from 140kW in the 523i and go all the way to 270kW for the 4.8-litre V8 550i. In the middle you have five other variants. Of course there is also the almighty BMW M5 with a V10 engine that produces 373kW of power and 520Nm of torque. The whole line up consists of seven variants :
- 523i - $84,900
- 525i - $94,700
- 530i - $113,500
- 530d - $115,000
- 530i Touring - $119,500
- 540i - $136,700
- 550i - $163,900
- M5 - $231,500
BMW have updated their six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission (which is available on all models). BMW says the new system nearly halves gearshift times which lead to increased performance and fuel efficiency.
The best selling variant of the 5 series, the 530i Sedan and Touring has been given some more life to the tune of 10kWs of power and 15 Nm of torque - which makes 200 kW and 315 Nm from its 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine.
BMW haven't messed around too much with the styling; however they have changed the double kidney grille and have also updated the headlights which now come with new clear glass technology. The new headlights use transparent glass panels covering the direction indicators along with chrome surrounds.
As for the interior, the new BMW 5 Series now comes with a Pearl Gloss Chrome finish on the controls, comfortable padding on the door armrests and twin-tone panels, as well as the centre console and black trim bars at the top of the doors. Other more functional changes include integrated power window and mirror-adjustment buttons, ergonomically optimised door handles and larger capacity integrated door pockets.
BMW's highly criticized iDrive system gets some new additions with enhanced menu guidance and eight “favourite” buttons to allow faster, easier access to important functions.
The car comes with an updated version of BMW's DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) adding new functions to the braking system such as Fading Compensation, Start-Off Assistant, Regular Dry Braking - which helps to ensure optimum stopping power in wet weather - and pre-loading of the brake pads to enhance the brake standby function when the driver requires a particularly short stopping distance.
However the feature which has caught our attention is the Cruise control with brake function, this feature which has been available in the 7 series and the S class Mercedes for some time allows the set speed to be maintained even when driving on long downhill gradients - the vehicle will not only accelerate, but also brake to maintain set speed - the feature is standard across the range.
There is also Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go. This system will maintain a set distance from the vehicle travelling in front, right down to standstill and back to the predetermined speed - this feature is optional.
It makes perfect sense for all new cars to come with the above technology, it would reduce Speeding tickets by the thousands as well as reduce rear end collisions considerably! Given that it started life in the 7-series and has moved onto the 5-series. There is a good chance it will make its way to the 3-series and eventually to your everyday Commodore in the next decade.
But wait, there is more! The BMW Lane Change Warning assistance system is also now available as an option on the 5-seres. The system advises the driver via a tactile signal on the steering wheel of any deviation from the chosen lane.
Ever wanted to an automatic high-beam system that would turn on and off for you? The technology is available now on the BMWs - dubbed, High-Beam Assist, the system automatically switches between high-beam and low-beam depending of on-coming traffic or the illumination level of the road ahead.
To keep the best till last, BMW Night Vision is also available in the new 5 Series. The innovative and life saving technology uses a thermal imaging camera to display on the navigation system’s Control Display objects that may not be visible in the normal lights up to a distance of 300 metres away!
The next 10 years will be interesting as the technology found in the 5-series of today will find it self in everyday cars (much like DSC/ABS/EBD etc). It would be interesting to see some statistics from BMW regarding the accident rate of vehicles fitted all this technology!