BMW’s new 5-series shares much of its platform with its larger sibling, the 7-series. The car features the same ‘back to its roots’ styling and you can honestly recognise this as a BMW, even without the badges. The wide kidney grille, the double-barrel headlamps, the long bonnet, the tight-fitting roof, the kink in the rear door and the wide but subtly flared wheel arches – it has them all. The multiple surfaces on the bonnet and the flanks really lend the design an edgy air.
While the new Five is built on the same platform as the 7-series, the wheelbase is shorter by 100mm here. At 2968mm it’s still very long though, probably the longest in its class. BMW has also transferred a whole bunch of high-tech stuff from the 7-series to this car. Stuff like Dynamic Driving Control, which allows you to choose between Normal, Sport and Sport+ and alter throttle responses, steering feel and automatic gearbox operation. But some of the best bits are missing on the Indian 5-series, such as the Variable Damper Control (VDC), Adaptive Drive (active anti-roll bars) and Integral Active Steer (rear-wheel steering).
Unlike the earlier 5-series which used a hybrid space-frame front, this car uses a conventional monocoque chassis. However, you still get plenty of aluminium bits in the front of the car to help it maintain its 51/49 percent front-rear weight distribution. In fact the doors, for the first time, are made of aluminium and as a result lack that impressive solid ‘thud’. BMW’s front suspension has also been specifically designed to allow the dampers to function without having any negative effect on the location of the front wheels on the road. The biggest change, however, is that this car gets an electric power-steering system in an effort to improve the overall efficiency of the car. Run-flat tyres remain, and you still don’t get the extra security and peace of mind that comes from having a spare.
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Issue: 166 | June 2013
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