- BMW has added a plug-in hybrid 545e and new range-topping M550i to the global line-up.
- There are a number of cosmetic updates to the interior and exterior.
- A reworked M5 will be unveiled later in 2020.
The BMW 5 Series facelift has been revealed internationally and it comes with a raft of upgrades to fend off the newer Audi A6 and refreshed Mercedes-Benz E-class. These upgrades include new technology and engines, and the introduction of a 530hp M Performance variant.
A hardcore CS version of the V8-powered M5 super-sedan is slated to be unveiled later this year, too.
Exterior changes for the 5 Series are concentrated on the front grille, which is now wider and positioned lower than before. It also receives a new single-frame design, with a central element in chrome, and sits within a reprofiled front bumper.
Styling tweaks have been applied to the headlights as well. They receive new graphics, with L-shaped daytime running lights and indicators located at the outer edges. It gets more heavily structured tail-lights – which are similar in design to those on the latest 3 Series – as well as a redesigned rear bumper. Regardless of the model, all 5 Series are now fitted with trapezoidal tailpipes.
BMW says the adoption of new bumpers has increased the length of the sedan by 27mm and the Touring by 21mm, and both now measure 4,963mm. Refinements to the aerodynamics – most notably with underbody cladding and an active air flap control system for the radiator – net the sedan a drag coefficient that is described as class-leading, at 0.23Cd, while the Touring is put at 0.26Cd.
Inside, the 5 Series has the latest seventh-generation version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, along with either a standard 10.3-inch or optional 12.3-inch central display. Entry-level models get more kit than before, while M Sport estates receive black roof rails. Further interior tweaks are focused on the dashboard, which gains a new lower climate display, alongside revised materials and gloss black centre console details.
There are also new electric M multi-function seats, previously reserved for the M5, with integral head restraints and added side support as part of an optional M Sport package.
In a continuation of its electrification strategy, BMW has included its mild-hybrid system to all 5 Series petrol and diesel models, with either a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine. It adds a 48V starter-generator and a second battery. Together, they provide an 11hp temporary boost to the engine’s power reserves as well as a number of new fuel-saving features. These include a coast function that shuts down the engine for periods of trailing throttle, improved brake-energy recuperation and the ability for the engine to be automatically switched off at speeds below 9kph.
Coming to the engines for the global 5 Series facelift range, the petrol units include a four-cylinder tuned to deliver 184hp in the 520i, and 251hp in the 530i, as well as 334hp, six-cylinder in the 540i. The 530i and 540i are available with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) or optional all-wheel drive (AWD). Above them is the four wheel-drive M550i xDrive that comes with a turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 good for 530hp and 750Nm torque, enabling a 0-100kph time of 4.0sec.
There are three diesels engine on offer: a four-cylinder tuned to 190hp in the 520d and two six-cylinder units that produce 285hp in the 530d and 340hp in the 540d xDrive variant. The 520d and 530d come with standard RWD or optional AWD, while the 540d is only available with the latter.
The petrol-electric plug-in hybrid 530e that will be sold abroad comes with standard RWD layout or can be optioned with an AWD setup. It has been updated with the latest evolution of BMW’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. However, it continues to deliver the same nominal combined system output of 251hp and 420Nm as before, with 292hp available for 10sec via a so-called XtraBoost function. On a full charge, it has a WLTP-certified electric-only range of up to 68km.
New to the family is the four-wheel-drive 545e xDrive plug-in hybrid, which uses the same 251hp, 3.0-litre, in-line, six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and a 108hp electric motor as in the larger 745e. Together, these provide a system output of 394hp and 600Nm, giving the 545e a 0-100kph time of 4.7sec and a governed 250kph top speed. With a lithium-ion battery mounted within the floor of the boot, the 545e achieves an electric-only range of up to 56km at speeds of up to 140kph, according to BMW.
As before, all drivetrains are mated to a standard 8-speed automatic gearbox, with no manual option offered.
Although the new M550i will head the range for now, a reworked M5 will be unveiled later this year. It’s set to sire a new M5 CS model with revised aerodynamics, including a rear wing similar to that seen on the M2 CS, M3 CS and M4 CS, plus lightweight carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic components. Nothing is confirmed just yet, but the future range-topping M5 model is rumoured to feature a newly developed V8 engine with even more firepower than the 625hp, 4.4-litre, twin-turbo V8 used by today’s M5 Competition.
Although nothing has been officially announced, we expect BMW to launch the 5 Series facelift in India in 2021. For our market, expect the 5 Series facelift to carry forward the current model’s engine options. These include a 252hp, 2.0-litre petrol in the 530i; a 190hp 2.0-litre diesel in the 520d; and a 265hp, 3.0-litre diesel in the 530d. In terms of rivals, the 5 Series competes with the Mercedes-Benz E-class, Audi A6 and the Jaguar XF.