The BMW 5 first came into existence in the early 70’s and at the time little did the people who admired it alongside its manufacturers ever envisioned that this sedan would blaze a trail through time and eventually become one of the most sought after and recognizable business sedans in the market right now.
With its humble underpinnings, the Bavarians have since realized the true enormity and breadth of its potential which is why we are going to delve deeper into this seventh-generation incarnation of Bavaria’s premium sedan codenamed – G30.
While we are in possession of stunning imagery of this all-new reincarnation, its worth noting that its predecessor has helped pave the G30’s road to El Dorado. Not too long ago and still very fresh in mind is the F10 model which according to a company press statement, has sold in excess of over 2 million units since its market debut in 2010. Even in the reaches of South East Asia, the F10 has been received with open arms to the point that BMW actually assembles it there just to keep up with market demand.
While the G30 will only be hitting showrooms in the first quarter of 2017, much has been revealed to keep spirits high and order books alive. Lets get off to a start and we kick off this ‘walkabout’ with the looks. Now as it is with Deutch makes and models, it can only be described as withheld, conservative evolution. A trait that is as Germanic as a spread of cold breakfast meats. Its almost as if, they parked a 4-Series right next to a 7er and thought to themselves for abit, then exclaimed an epiphany of design.
The rear end is very much an expression of that train of thought. However true to the Bavarian’s legacy, it’s not the cut and shunt job that this writer would have you to believe. The rear end could almost be described as perfect amalgamation of those two models. But yet there is a vibe of refinement and class to be had in this proceeding. Simple things like how they’ve managed to blend the tail pipes into the bumper, almost creates a harmony of design. Whatever – we just like the molded bumpers and chromed exhaust tips.
Along the side however, it seems almost business as usual and as it should be. A BMW 5-Series was never meant to be a ride that screamed its presence upon arrival but rather subtle and dignified like a finely tailored business suit. Black wool with maybe a splash of color for the underlining. Such is the hallmark for a business sedan of this caliber. In keeping with the theme, doesn't the lines on the bottom half of the doors, culminating in the chrome swoosh not remind you of the wing tips on a Gulf Stream Business jet?
The more astute reader would’ve picked out that design cue from its larger sibling. The lines that streak down the side of the body affects an image of power and strength. Bear in mind though that this all-new model is 37mm longer, 8mm wider and 15mm longer that the model it replaces. I know what you must be thinking, the G30 is obviously heavier and you’d be dead wrong for the 5er is actually 100kg lighter thanks in part to the extensive use of high tensile steel for the frame work and aluminum on the body panels.
The real business end of the 5er is its face, and it really can be called one especially if you ponder at how they’ve managed to blend the ‘angel eyes’ seamlessly into the kidney grille. Those eyes don’t just project light but rather a beam, illuminated via LED technology that is not only power efficient but friendlier to other drivers. The other hallmark of every Bimmer are the kidney grille’s which has always been the sort of nostrils of the beast, now gains Active Aerodynamics in order to make this 5er more drag efficient and thus pleasing to a small Union in Belgium, whatever their called.
In a bid to further personify this Bimmer into life, it would be appropriate at this juncture to talk bout its beating heart – all 11 of them when it comes launch time in February. The range will now also include the companies rising star – the xDrive system. Which if you aren’t in the know is an all-wheel drive system.
BMW plans on rolling out the 520i, 530i, 520d, 530d and its spin-offs. These models will become the core sellers of the G30 in the various markets it will eventually occupy. Powering them along is a 2-litre four-banger affair that promises 252hp from 5,200 revs while jolting out 350 Nm from as low as 1,450 revs. Keeping that power in check is up to the job of the butter-smooth 8-ratio ZF-sourced transmission.
But what if you’re the sort of chap that figures a four-banger isn’t up to the job of chauffeuring you around? Fret not, for the 540i is but a steed comparable to Hengroen. But unlike King Arthurs fabled colt, the beating heart in this stallion of steel, wood and hide isn’t muscle but rather it’s a 3-litre, blown straight-sixer that pumps out an astonishing 340 units King Arthur had. Difference is the famed Kings’ stallion did not push out 450Nm of twist while this does. The result of this is a sprint time of 4.8 seconds for the xDrive variant (5.1s for the standard model)
To even the most outlandish and outspoken European businessperson, this variant would be more than adequately sufficient but what if you were abit let’s say – American? But you’re the sort of Yank that demands European refinement and levels of luxury but with Muscle-car like brute force but not want something as hard core as an M5? What then? Good news.
Enter the M550i. This behemoth of a 5er almost makes the M5 look redundant but that’s a discussion for yet another time. It has been said, in rather hush whispers that this range topping variant will give its predecessor M5 a real run for it money. In our book, praise just don’t not get higher than that.
Particularly when you realize that both the cars in question are powered by the same mill, a 4.4-litre twin-scroll turbocharged V8. As is the case with Bimmer’s of late, the engine maybe identical however they live in states of tune so far apart they might as well have postal codes. The G30 kicks out roughly 462 hp and 650 Nm that’s rated with a sprint time of 4.0 seconds whereas the old M5 pulled it off in a shade over that.
Having adequately covered the ‘measuring’ game, it would be imperative that we talk bout the stuff that most readers are here for – creature comforts of the interior. Needless to say, a car of such stature will obviously be loaded with the holy trinity of luxury – wood, leather and shag pile. That being said, this traditional businessman’s express is also way ahead of the pack and making ground in its wake.
For example, at time of press, the company was the first manufacturer to integrate a Wireless version of Apple’s CarPlay into its cars. In the previous reiteration, a Lightning Bolt cable was needed, in this one however, it’s all done using mostly witchcraft and some Bluetooth. Not only that, but the 10.25inch display is also programmed to optimize the aspect ratio giving you the best viewing angle possible. That being said, even witchcraft uses up battery and BMW has been rather thoughtful to that plight which is why there’s a wireless proximity charger in the center console to always keep you juiced up and running as you go about your day. Thoughtful detail.
The 5er will come with a load more stuff for the rear passengers such as quad-zone climate control and a more knee room. With emerging markets such as China, that few inches makes all the difference to buyers in that region. Apart from that, the company has also stuffed it to the brim with a host of assistance systems such BMW's ConnectedDrive suite that include features such as ParkNow which a system that allow drivers to reserve and even pay for parking spots in advance. Available as an optional extra is something called Parking Assistant which finds you a suitable bay and can even park it for you.
On demand too is a system that has since found a new lease of life in this all-new 5 Series. Remember that cool key fob that came with the latest 7er and i8? Well that amazing bit of kit is now part of the 5 series’ repertoire and will come with Remote Parking, however that’s a feature that most markets will not have the pleasure of availability.
Pricings and options are the bit that have yet to surface as concrete information. More updates to come. In the mean while check out the Gallery below. Stay tuned. Photograph credit to BMW Group.