Active Aerodynamics also play a part in keeping emissions low and performance high by closing off the air cooling flaps behind the kidney grills to improve the aerodynamics of the car and performance on cold starts. Low rolling resistance tires also feature to improve efficiency still further.
Benefiting from dry sump lubrication, the BMW 5 Series Saloon comes as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, which has been optimized, compared to previous transmissions for greater efficiency. A redesigned gearshift leaver and enhanced internal packaging have resulted in a smoother, sportier gearshift.
The range topping 550i comes as standard with BMW’s new eight-speed automatic transmission bringing the luxury and refinement of the 7 Series to the 550i. Whilst being six percent more fuel efficient, the weight and size are unaffected. Buyers of all variants can specify the eight-speed automatic gearbox or an eight-speed Sport automatic transmission with Formula One style steering wheel mounted paddles for those that prefer more enthusiastic performance.
Bespoke chassis configurator
For those BMW 5 Series Saloon models specified with Variable Damper Control or Adaptive Drive packages, the Drive Dynamic Control (DDC) chassis configurator is fitted to enhance ride and handling still further. DDC allows for fine tuning of the chassis with the choice of Normal, Comfort, Sport and Sport+. Each mode changes the levels of steering assistance, throttle response, gear change characteristics, degree of Dynamic Stability Control interaction and, courtesy of adjustable dampers, the ride and handling characteristics.
The combination of a double wishbone front axle and a multilink rear axle ensures that occupants are provided with a composed ride whilst still maintaining supreme driving dynamics. For the first time the 5 Series Saloon comes with Electric Power Steering with Servotronic assistance for enhanced driving dynamics and comfort, thus saving weight and helping to reduce emissions.
Highest ever standard specification
The BMW 5 Series Saloon features the highest ever level of standard specification for the model. All models now come with Dakota leather upholstery, BMW Professional Radio and Bluetooth telephone preparation compared to the previous (E60) BMW 5 Series Saloon. Six-cylinder engine derivatives additionally gain USB audio interface and Ambient lighting, while the BMW 550i has the eight-speed automatic transmission as standard. The BMW 520d additionally benefits from full automatic air-conditioning system as standard.
Innovative new optional equipment
The BMW 5 Series Saloon is the first BMW to be offered with Park Assist aimed at enhancing driver convenience. Once a button on the centre console is pressed ultrasound sensors located in the side indicator surrounds scan the road either side of the vehicle for an appropriate parking space. On location of a suitable free bay the driver then only need operate the accelerator and brake pedals while the Park Assist system swiftly slots the car into the space with ease.
Four-wheel Integral Active Steering can also be specified for the first time on a 5 Series Saloon and a car equipped as such benefits from a 0.5metre smaller turning circle. Meanwhile, the Surround View system uses cameras in the side mirrors and the front wheel arches in conjunction with Park Distance Control and the optional Reversing Assist camera to provide a 360 degree view on the iDrive display for perfect parking.
The BMW 5 Series Saloon is offered with a wealth of optional equipment to enhance driver safety, comfort and enjoyment. Head-up Display, Night Vision with pedestrian recognition, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning, Speed Limit Info and two rear entertainment packages are all available.
In the UK the BMW 5 Series Saloon will be offered with four optional equipment packages. BMW Business Advanced Media and BMW Professional Multimedia packages include BMW Navigation, BMW ConnectedDrive – Assist and Online and Voice control. Dynamic package includes 19-inch alloy wheels, Sport seats, Anthracite headlining, Sport leather steering wheel and High-gloss exterior trim. The Visibility package includes Adaptive headlights, Xenon headlights, High-beam Assist and headlight wash.
The new BMW 5 Series Saloon goes on sale 20 March, 2010.
Innovative new online activities for launch
BMW is using the announcement of the BMW 5 Series to the launch the new BMW Live tool. Available for download from 24 November, 2009 at www.bmw.co.uk/live the BMW Live application, once installed on a computer, provides the user with a host of information about the new BMW 5 Series in addition to other features. Checking the time, weather or even what is going on in the rest of the world courtesy of RSS feeds, BMW Live combines all of this and more in a one stop widget which looks as good as the new BMW 5 Series.
The unveiling of the new BMW 5 Series coincides with two other online activities. By following the link on www.bmw.co.uk/5series customers will be able to join an exclusive preview club that will grant privileged information about her car followed by the chance to attend an exclusive BMW 5 Series preview evening in February before the UK launch on 20 March, 2010. The same website will also be the gateway to a unique interactive online history of the BMW 5 Series and iconic moments in history for each generation’s launch year, from the original 1972 car through to the latest, sixth-generation model. Alternatively you can access the history in the making site via www.thenewbmw5series.co.uk