The updated 2021 BMW 5 Series has been unveiled today, ahead of an Australian market launch confirmed for October.
The big news for many buyers will be the addition of Android Auto – even better news is that it will arrive in wireless form, just like Apple Carplay.
Sad news, for statistically fewer buyers (and this writer), is that the 5 Series Touring wagon body may have been axed.
BMW Australia isn't confirming at this stage, but the words Touring and wagon are conspicuously absent from today's press release, with the focus in words and photos centred entirely on the sedan.
It's worth noting here that BMW has sold 2725 5er sedans since 2017, and just 118 examples of the Touring. It's no stretch to speculate the Touring has been quietly retired from the local market – considering they've also just killed the 6 Series GT, and that sold 233 units since its launch in 2017.
Fingers crossed, but it appears SUVs have sent yet another wagon to pasture.
On the styling front, the 5er's midlife update (dubbed a 'Life Cycle Impulse', or LCI) brings a slender new headlight design that sees yet another BMW move away from the once circular and then later semi-hexagonal LED daytime light signatures.
New full-LED headlights are featured, along with adaptive cornering lighting, BMW Selective Beam 'non-dazzling' high beam with matrix technology, and High-Beam Assist.
BMW's Laserlight feature is also available as an option, boosting the level of illumination on the road ahead.
Those new headlights flank an upgrade to BMW's new-look grille, which introduces a connection between the two iconic kidneys (though not so kidney-shaped these days).
A new bumper design rounds out the changes up front, and tweaks at the rear are limited to a dark new hue to the tail-lamp lenses, set off by a bold, contoured LED light signature.
There's a new M Sport package too, along with BMW Individual Air Performance Wheels, designed to reduce the wheels' weight and air resistance.
BMW Australia hasn't said if we should expect it here, but a new M Sport Edition will be offered to just 1000 buyers, featuring the M Sport package, the usually BMW M-exclusive Donington Grey metallic paint, and the Individual Air Performance Wheels in a bi-colour design.
Changes inside are subtle, with the most obvious being the move to a larger 12.3-inch centre display – an optional upgrade in Europe, where a 10.25-inch screen is now standard.
New technology with that display will include the latest BMW Operating System 7.0 (also known as iDrive), and wireless Android Auto will join wireless Apple CarPlay for the first time.
At this stage, the refreshed 5er is the first model to be confirmed with Android Auto in Australia, and may be the first vehicle in Australia to feature wireless connectivity for Android Auto. (CarAdvice covered this news in December 2019.)
The dash and steering wheel designs are largely unchanged, with only redesigned centre console controls joined by small trim, accent and colouring revisions.
New M division seats derived from the BMW M5 Competition's pews join the range as an option, offering multiple adjustment controls and a sporting fit.
Engines and variants: M550i xDrive, M550i xDrive Pure, 530e plug-in hybrid, two petrols and two diesels
For performance fans, the updated 5 Series range will be headlined by the 390kW/750Nm M550i xDrive sedan.
The 530e plug-in hybrid also returns for the new model year, producing between 135kW and 215kW – the latter through the standard-fit XtraBoost function that delivers 10 seconds of extra 'oomph'.
Standard spec for the 530e is a 135kW/300Nm four-cylinder turbo petrol engine matched to an 80kW/265Nm electric motor. Its electric driving range is listed in European trim at 62-67 kilometres, with fuel use claimed to be as low as 1.7L/100km. A 0-100km/h of 5.9 seconds is also claimed.
Two other petrol engines and two diesel options will be offered further down the range, but, for now, BMW Australia isn't revealing what local buyers will see. The line-up is not expected to change significantly beyond the current arrangement, however.
In its current form, the Australian 5 Series range includes the 520d, 520i, 530d, 530i, 530e and M550 xDrive, in various trim lines, along with the hero M5 Competition.
In all models, an eight-speed Steptronic auto is standard, and the M550i xDrive and M550i xDrive Pure – as its name suggests – gets BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system.
The M550i xDrive models will be offered with the option of M Sport Suspension, Adaptive M Suspension, and Adaptive M Suspension Professional with active roll stabilisation.
Lastly, red brake calipers will appear as an option beyond the blue grabbers normally featured with the M Sport package.
When will the 2021 BMW 5 Series come to Australia?
The refreshed 2021 5 Series will go on sale in Australia from October, with pricing and local specifications to be confirmed closer to launch.