The BMW 5 Series enters its eighth generation as the G60, and the nameplate is joined for the first time by a fully electric range, the G60E BMW i5 sedan in parallel, a little under seven years on from the unveiling of the G30-generation 5 Series in October 2016.
Physical growth continues in the G60-generation 5 Series over its G30 predecessor, the new model measuring 5,060 mm long (+97 mm), 1,900 mm wide (+32 mm), 1,515 mm tall (+36 mm) and a wheelbase of 2,995 mm (+20 mm).
Full electrification for the range debuts with the RWD i5 eDrive40 and the dual-motor AWD i5 M60 xDrive; the eDrive40 packs a rear-axle motor producing 340 hp and up to 430 Nm of torque with Sport Boost or Launch Control activated. Thus equipped, the i5 eDrive40 does the 0-100 km/h run in six seconds, and a top speed of 193 km/h.
The more powerful i5 M60 xDrive packs a dual-motor powertrain rated to produce 601 hp and up to 820 Nm of torque with Sport Boost or M Launch Control activated, this way enabling the M60 xDrive for a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 3.8 seconds, onwards to a limited top speed of 230 km/h.
Both the eDrive40 and M60 xDrive draw power from an underbody battery pack that provides a usable energy content of 81.2 kWh, yielding and WLTP-estimated range of 497 km to 582 km for the eDrive40 and 455 km to 516 km for the M60 xDrive. Both variants gain the new Max Range function, improving battery range by up to 25% through limiting power and deactivating selected comfort functions.
The onboard Combined Charging Unit (CCU) in the G60E BMW i5 supports AC charging at up to 11 kW as standard, or up to 22 kW as an option. DC fast charging for the i5 is supported at up to 205 kW DC, this way enabling a charge from 10-80% state of charge (SoC) in around 30 minutes.
On the combustion engine-powered side, the G60 5 Series debuts with two four-cylinder mild-hybrid engines – one petrol and one diesel – across three variants at launch; the 208 hp 520i sedan, and the 197 hp 520d in RWD and xDrive AWD variants.
Further ICE variants not offered in Europe include the G60 530i and 530i xDrive for the US market, which packs a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 255 hp and 400 Nm of torque, while the 540i xDrive brings a 3.0L six-cylinder turbo inline-six petrol engine that outputs 375 hp and 520 Nm of torque, boosting to 540 Nm temporarily from the 48-volt mild-hybrid system.
Some things remain the same – the German marque continues to tout “an almost perfectly balanced” 50:50 weight distribution between its front and rear axles, while front and rear track widths have also grown. M sport suspension, an M sport brake system and the Adaptive Suspension Professional are standard on the M60 xDrive.
Suspension layout in both the i5 and the 5 Series consists of double wishbones in front and a five-link setup at the rear; standard fit tyre sizes are 245/45R19 on the i5 eDrive40, while the M60 xDrive gets 245/45R19 in front and 275/40R19 at the rear. Standard fit tyres on the G60 520i, 530d and 520d xDrive are 225/55R18; further designs measuring up to 21 inches in diameter with performance tyres are also available as options.
Optionally available are electronically controlled shock absorbers, Integral Active Steering and new vertical dynamics management, as is the Adaptive M Suspension Professional that also includes Active Roll Stabilisation with Active Roll Comfort.
The host of driver assistance features in the G50E i5 and the G60 5 Series is led by the optional Driving Assistant Professional which includes Steering and Lane Control Assist and Distance Control, with Stop & Go function. In markets where regulations permit (United States, Canada and Germany), the Highway Assistant can relieve the driver of steering tasks on highways with structurally divided lanes at up to 130 km/h.
BMW also claims a world-first in the G60/G60E 5 Series with the advent of the Active Lane Change Assistant, which incorporates eye confirmation. Here, the vehicle can suggest a lane change, which can be confirmed by the driver by looking at the exterior mirror to confirm the manoeuvre. Where traffic conditions permit, the Active Lane Change Assistant can execute the steering movements automatically.
Also standard on the latest 5 Series range is the Parking Assistant with Reverse Assist. Where the optional Parking Assist Professional is specified, automated parking manoeuvres of up to 200 metres can be controlled from within the vehicle, or by smartphone when used from outside the vehicle.
Information in the G60 and G60E 5 Series and i5 is handled via the dual-widescreen curved display and the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, featuring the latest BMW Operating System 8.5 (via BMW iDrive 8.5) that also began rolling out for other models.
This offers QuickSelect, which enables functions to be accessed directly without having to go through a submenu, which results from an improved menu structure “oriented towards devices from the consumer electronics sector,” says BMW.
The connectivity experience in the G60 5 Series extends to in-car gaming, as its Stuttgart-headquartered rival has done, and here the BMW OS 8.5 brings the AirConsole platform that offers gameplay while the vehicle is stationary, such as when its occupants are waiting while the vehicle’s battery is being recharged.
Market launch for the G60 BMW 5 Series range will commence in October, with the all-electric i5 leading the charge in global markets. Selected markets – such as the United States – will also receive mild-hybrid and PHEV variants, the latter scheduled for debut in 2024.
A registration of interest page has already appeared on BMW Malaysia’s website so if you are interested in buying the new BMW i5, you can click here to register. Do it quick, as we hear the i5 will arrive on our shores relatively fast due to it being a tax-free EV CBU import.
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