Launching globally in early 2017, BMW says the new 5 Series features “further enhanced dynamics, an unbeatable line-up of assistance systems, and unmatched degree of connectivity and a new and innovative operating system”.
Measuring 4936mm long, 1868mm wide and 1479mm tall, the seventh-generation 5 Series is 37mm longer, 8mm wider and 15mm taller than its predecessor.
Despite its larger size, the new 5 Series sedan is up to 100kg lighter than its predecessor, thanks to the increased use of lightweight materials including aluminium and high-strength steels in its construction.
Although the new 'G30' 5 Series model's look doesn't stray far from the outgoing 'F10' generation, it is nonetheless sharper, wider and flatter. Think of it as a fusion of the smaller 3 Series and the bigger new 7 Series.
Technology is one of the main areas where the company has focused its attention for the new 5 Series, with BMW claiming it has taken another step towards autonomous driving with the new (and optional) Active Cruise Control (ACC) system, along with the steering and lane-keeping assistant .
With the new driver assistance systems, the 5 Series can accelerate, brake and steer itself from zero to 210km/h.
Inside is where more significant changes have been made, with the new 5 Series featuring the company’s latest 10.25-inch iDrive infotainment system incorporating Apple CarPlay - which, in an automotive first, is fully wireless - drawing upon the cockpit from the larger 7 Series.
BMW ConnectedDrive adds new features including ParkNow - which offers digital parking space reservation and payment - along with an on-street parking search function, and the optional Parking Assistant; which detects vacant spaces and parks the vehicle automatically.
The seventh-generation model also sports a new full-colour head-up display, which boasts a projection surface 70 per cent larger than before and can display traffic signs, phone listings, radio stations, music tracks, navigation prompts and warnings from assistance systems.
Other features include wireless phone charging, a WiFi hotspot for up to ten devices, and the new Remote 3D View function which allows owners to access a three-dimensional view of the car's surroundings remotely through their smartphone.
Passengers are catered for with touch-operated seat controls, four-zone climate control with ionisation and air fragrancing, along with sound-cancelling technologies in the windscreen and headliner to reduce noise vibration harshness (NVH) levels in the cabin.
Adaptive LED headlights are available as an option, offering variable light distribution and adaptive roundabout lighting and anti-dazzle high beams with a 500-metre range.
Under the bonnet, the new 5 Series offers a range of new and improved turbocharged petrol and diesel powertrains.
Kicking off the petrol-powered range is the 528i-replacing 530i, which employs a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine offering 185kW of power and 350Nm of torque.
The 530i claims a 0-100km/h time of 6.2 seconds (6.0 seconds with xDrive all-wheel drive), while fuel use is rated as low as 5.4L/100km on the combined cycle.
Next up is the 540i, which succeeds the previous 535i. Powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder unit, the 540i lists outputs of 250kW and 450Nm.
Acceleration is pretty brisk, with BMW quoting 5.1 seconds for the 0-100km/h dash (4.8 with xDrive), while fuel consumption is rated at 6.5L/100km.
Two turbo-diesels will be offered at launch alongside the two petrols, the 520d and 530d.
The 520d is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder oiler, producing 140kW of power and 400Nm of torque.
The 0-100km/h run is claimed to take 7.7 seconds (7.6s with xDrive), while fuel use is rated at 4.1L/100km - giving some hybrids a run for their money.
The 530d, meanwhile, employs a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel generating 195kW and 620Nm.
BMW says hitting 100km/h in the 530d takes just 5.7 seconds (5.4 with xDrive) and, despite the performance potential, the 530d sips just 4.5L/100km.
Following the launch of these core models, BMW will add a further three variants from March 2017 - though Australia will likely wait longer - including an iPerformance plug-in hybrid (PHEV), ultra-efficient diesel, and a performance flagship that will sit atop the range until the next M5 hits showrooms.
Combined outputs are quoted at 185kW and 420Nm, with 0-100km/h dispatched in 6.2 seconds.
BMW quotes an all-electric range of up to 45km, while fuel use is rated at 2.0L/100km.
Joining the 530e will be the 520d EfficientDynamics Edition, which is likely aimed at European buyers looking to approach the 100g/km CO2 tax threshold.
Powered by a more efficient version of the 520d's 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, the 520d EfficientDynamics Edition claims identical outputs of 140kW and 400Nm, while the 0-100km/h is marginally quicker at a claimed 7.5 seconds.
BMW is yet to detail how this model achieves its improved efficiency and increased performance, although it's unlikely this model will come to Australia regardless.
Finally, the M550i xDrive will serve as the performance hero, "for the time being at least", in the company's words.
With its combination of a 340kW/650Nm turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine and all-wheel drive, the M550i xDrive claims a 0-100km/h sprint of just 4.0-seconds flat - which is 0.2 seconds quicker than the current M5 - yet, BMW rates the M550i's fuel consumption at 8.9L/100km.
Considering that's the short-term performance flagship, M fans will be eagerly awaiting news of the next M5's capabilities.
Further details and specifications are likely to be released closer to the car's global launch in February next year.
While BMW's local arm can't confirm when the new 5 Series will arrive down under, it's expected the seventh-generation mid-sizer will arrive by mid-2017.
We're expecting to get our first drive of the all-new 2017 5 Series later this year. Stay tuned for our review.
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