The ʼ24 BMW 5-Series sedan has been unveiled ahead of a planned start to North American sales next year.
Arriving hot on the heels of its key rival, the new sixth-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the upmarket four-door comes in a combination of traditional gasoline and new electric-powered i5 models.
The basis for the new 5-Series, known internally under the G60 codename, is BMW’s Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform. The high-strength steel and aluminum structure is heavily re-engineered to make it suitable for gasoline, plug-in hybrid and electric drivetrains, with changes to its floorpan and other elements to improve rigidity and stiffness.
Stylistically, the ’24 model reflects the change in direction at BMW first seen on the iX, with a much more modern look.
The front is still dominated by BMW’s classic kidney grille, but it is now a split affair, more angular in form and, as on other recent BMW models, receives optional illumination. Overall, the surfacing along the flanks is smoother and fuller in form than before.
As on all recent BMW models, traditional door handles have made way for flush-fitting units. They combine with other wind-cheating elements, including a flat under body, to allow the most aerodynamically efficient of the 5-Series models, the i5 eDrive40, to achieve a drag co-efficient of 0.23.
Mirroring the latest 7-Series, with which it shares many critical components, the 5-Series grows in length, width, height and wheelbase.
Inside, there’s a new-look cabin with a multi-layered dashboard supporting a single curved display panel. It houses separate 12.3-in. (31-cm) instrument and 14.9-in. (38-cm) infotainment touch displays. BMW has reduced the number of physical controls, with functions such as air conditioning now controlled through the central infotainment display.
BMW has confirmed two mild-hybrid gasoline engines for the U.S. market: a 255-hp, 295-lb.-ft. (400-Nm) turbocharged 2.0L and a 375-hp, 384-lb.-ft. (521-Nm) turbocharged 3.0L inline 6 cyl. that can be boosted to 398 lb.-ft. (540 Nm) with an assist from the powertrain’s 48V motor.
Rear- and all-wheel drive are offered with the 2.0L; the 3.0L comes with all-wheel drive only.
Among the electric-powered i5 models, the rear-wheel-drive eDrive40 receives a rear-mounted electric motor developing 335 hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (317 lb.-ft. [430 Nm] in boost mode), giving it a claimed 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time of 5.7 seconds and a 120-mph (193-km/h) top speed.
The initial range-topping all-wheel drive i5 M60 xDrive retains the same rear-mounted electric motor as the i5 eDrive40 in combination with a smaller front-mounted motor delivering an added 257 hp. In total, it develops a combined system output of 590 hp and 549 lb.-ft. (744 Nm) of torque and 605 lb.-ft. (820 Nm) of torque in boost mode for a claimed 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 143 mph (230 km/h).
Both i5 models receive an 84.3-kWh lithium-ion battery as standard. The i5 eDrive40’s EPA-cycle range is estimated by BMW at 295 miles (475 km), with the i5 M60 xDrive rated at 256 miles (412 km).
Both i5 models come with 11-kW AC Level 2 charging functionality as standard, though this can be increased to 22 kW with an optional on-board charger. Maximum DC charging capability is 205 kW, with BMW claiming a 10% to 80% charge within 30 minutes.
Together with the eDrive40 and M60 xDrive, BMW has also confirmed a third i5 model is planned to join the lineup in 2024.
The new BMW retains a double wishbone and multi-link suspension, with either steel or air springs and single-stroke or dual-stroke shock absorbers, depending on the model. It also offers Integral Active Steering with up to 2.5 degrees of rear-steering effect, active roll stabilization and active roll comfort as part of an M-adaptive suspension that is standard on the i5 M60 xDrive.
Updated Parking Assistant and Reversing Assistant functions are standard as part of a wide range of driver-assistance systems.
An optional Highway Assistant and Active Lane Change system prompts the driver when a lane change is possible. The driver triggers a hands-off maneuver simply by glancing in the side mirror in the intended lane-change direction.
As with all previous generations, the ’24 5-Series and i5 for the U.S. market will be produced at BMW’s Dingolfing plant in Germany – the same site that produces the electric motors and battery for the i5 and other electric-powered BMWs.
Starting prices range from $58,895 for the rear-drive 530i to $85,095 for the top-of-the-line, all-wheel-drive i5 M60 xDrive (prices include $995 for destination and handling).
BMW i5 eDrive40.