Starting from $108,900 before on-road costs, the hybrid 5 Series is the same price as the more conventional 530i, though the hybrid claims to be far more frugal. It's also the first time a BMW iPerformance model has been priced identically to a combustion-powered equivalent.
Under the bonnet (and floor) is a plug-in hybrid petrol/electric powertrain consisting of a 135kW/290Nm 2.0-litre turbo up front, along with an 83kW/250Nm electric motor. Combined outputs are rated at 185kW and 420Nm - marginally better than the 185kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo powering the 530i.
The 530e claims up to 43 kilometres of all-electric range from its 9.2kWh battery pack, while fuel consumption is rated at 2.3L/100km on the combined cycle.
Performance-wise, the 530e can sprint from 0-100kmh in 6.2 seconds - which is in the same league as many hot hatches.
In terms of standard equipment, the 530e largely mirrors its 530i M Sport sibling (Luxury Line is a no-cost option), which includes a 10.25-inch Navigation Professional infotainment system, wireless smartphone charging, a head-up display (HUD), 19-inch BMW M light alloy wheels, an automatic tailgate, adaptive LED headlights with highbeam assist, 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system, and heated front sports seats.
The hybrid adds unique appointments like a stationary cooling system, acoustic pedestrian protection, extended eDrive features for the ConnectedDrive online-based services, a charging cable, and a six year, 100,000km battery certificate.
Safety and driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control with stop/go function, the semi-autonomous steering and lane control assistant (up to 210km/h), front cross traffic alert, active parking assist, surround view camera system, speed limit info and assist, along with a suite of airbags.
Distinguishing the 530e from the wider 5 Series range are an array of styling appointments like blue kidney grille slats, blue wheel hub covers, 'eDrive' badging, and additional eDrive modes; Auto eDrive, Max eDrive and Battery Control.
Auto eDrive constantly monitors driving conditions to ensure the petrol engine and electric motor "interact to optimum effect" in all situations, allowing an all-electric top speed of 90km/h.
Max eDrive switches to electric power only, with a top speed of 140km/h. However, if the accelerator is pushed hard enough, the petrol engine will kick in and assist with an extra power boost - ideal for overtaking, for example.
Finally, Battery Control lets the driver select a desired charge level for the 9.2kWh battery (between 30 and 100 per cent). The system will automatically reserve that proportion of the battery's capacity for all-electric driving later on as desired.
The BMW 530e is available to order now.
2017 BMW 5 Series pricing (plus on-road costs)
520d - $93,900
530i - $108,900
530e - $108,900
530d - $119,900
540i - $136,900