After months of spy photos and videos, the wraps have finally been pulled off the 2017 BMW 5 Series sedan. All new engines, weight savings, more tech, and better fuel efficiency are all in store for BMW’s latest sedan. From cutting-edge connectivity to drag coefficient and semi-autonomous driving tech, get ready for some automotive benchmark re-calibration when the seventh-generation 5 Series officially hits the road in February 2017.
The new 5 Series is “The epitome of the business sedan,” said company chairman, Harald Krüger. “We see technological leadership, emotionally rich products and digitalization as essential factors in achieving success.” And this is the key. The car offers steering and lane control assists at speeds of up to 210 km/h. It can also help the driver change or stay in lane; take evasive action when a collision risk is imminent; check for traffic at junctions and crossroads; autonomously respect the speed limit; and, even boasts a voice control system that can respond to natural language – i.e., this is a car that likes to have a conversation.
However, with all that tech, it’s very easy to detach the driving experience. And that’s why much of the new connectivity tech on board the BMW is about cutting stress and saving time, such as the ParkNow system that finds and pays for parking spaces ahead of time. And off course, the remote parking system that debuted on the car’s big brother, the 7-Series, where a push of the smart key button is enough for the car to maneuver automatically into even the tightest of spaces.
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Other highlights in this regard include a concierge service, gesture controls for the infotainment system and wireless Smartphone charging and connectivity. All of which should free the driver up to enjoy the car’s new engines which will initially include a 2-liter four cylinder 252 hp unit (0-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds) and a 3-liter straight six with 340 hp and 4.8-second 0-100 km/h time. Though faster and more powerful than existing engines, both are more fuel efficient and by mid-2017 drivers will also have the choice of a hybrid and an all-wheel drive M550i xDrive model with a 462 hp V8 under the hood and a 4.0-second 0-100km/h time. That should be enough to keep keen drivers happy until the next M5 comes along.
Based on the CLAR (CLuster ARchitecture) rear-wheel drive platform of the 2016 BMW 7 Series, the 2017 5 Series is nearly 100kg lighter than its predecessor thanks to the use of high-strength steel, aluminum, and magnesium. The weight loss becomes more impressive when you realize the new car is longer, wider, and taller than the 5 Series it replaces. The weight reduction, along with more powerful engines, means the car should be quicker than its predecessor, as well.
“The seventh generation of the BMW 5 Series points the way into the future, as we have defined it with our NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy,” said Krüger. “I’m in no doubt that the new BMW 5 Series will set new benchmarks technologically, but also have huge emotional appeal.”