New BMW 5-series revealed: G60-generation exec loaded with tech | CAR Magazine

New BMW 5-series revealed: G60-generation exec loaded with tech

Published: 24 May 2023 Updated: 24 May 2023

► All-new BMW 5-series saloon revealed
► Tech overload for new G60 generation
► Launches in October 2023 from £50k

BMW’s new 5-series has arrived. The new executive saloon is here to fight the latest generation E-Class, as well as the upcoming new A6 and has even spawned a pure-electric i5 version.

The 5 series is the keystone for modern BMW. Back in the early ’70s it introduced the ‘series’ hierarchy, three-digit names grounded in engine displacement and standardised the (previously used) ‘i’ suffix for fuel injection, staples that remain ingrained in our collective subconscious like automotive grammar.

This latest generation, meanwhile, represents a considerable technological leap.

New BMW 5-series: design and interior

If BMW’s ever-enlarging kidney grilles sent you scurrying to the cupboard, it’s safe to come out again now. This is a more cautious kind of evolution for the heartland 5-series, with what insiders describe as a ‘clear, reduced design language and athletic proportions’.

The latest 5 has grown in every direction (93mm longer, 35mm wider, 24mm taller and with a 20mm increase in wheelbase) and introduces some properly aerodynamic details. The sleeker three-box profile contributes to a pretty incredible drag coefficient of 0.22-0.23Cd across all 5-series models, helping drivers get the most from whichever fuel source they’re using, with active kidney grilles, a smooth underbody and aerodynamic ‘Air Performance’ wheels.

Inside, the theory is very much 7-series with a more driver-centric feel than the 7’s more passive, loungey sort of ambience. It feels a very large car up front, and while six-footers don’t have acres of space to sit behind themselves, it is sufficiently roomy to get comfy.

BMW’s Curved Display debuted on the i4 and returns with familiar 12.3-inch and 14.9-inch screens running back-to-back behind a common glass surface. Live Cockpit Plus with cloud-based nav is standard, and Live Cockpit Professional upgrades to head-up display and Augmented View (eg putting graphic turn arrows on a camera image of the road ahead).

New BMW 5-series: tech and performance specs

For the UK market, the new 5-series is launching with only one engine variant: the 520i. It’s a sign of the times that the 520d, for so long a fleet hero, is unlikely to be sold in the UK, despite its availability elsewhere.

The 520i model uses a four-cylinder petrol engine with 48v mild hybrid tech, which develops 205bhp and 243lb ft, good for a 7.5sec 0-62mph sprint time and a top speed of 143mph. BMW claims up to 49.5mpg for this model.

Beyond that, though, BMW has confirmed 530e (pictured above) and 550e plug-in hybrid models (with up to 56 and 62 miles of e-range respectively) are launching in 2024. After a Touring estate? You’ll need to wait until 2024, too.

The familiar CLAR underpinnings are common to all 5-series, with double-wishbone coil-sprung front suspension and a five-link rear (air springs for the i5 and all Touring versions, coils for combustion saloons), and from there you have a choice of three suspension set-ups. M suspension with fixed dampers is the entry level, while Adaptive Professional suspension is the mid-spec option and can be combined with optional rear-wheel steering (Integral Active Steering, in BMW-speak). The latter turns at up to 2.5º, which is apparently the sweet spot for not making the car feel like a forklift while leaving decent room for luggage space and a 285-section tyre on 21-inch alloys (18s, 19s and 20s are also available).

Adaptive M Professional is the most advanced chassis and is fitted to the M60 as standard, combining rear-wheel-steer wizardry with active roll stabilisation (aka active anti-roll bars with 48-volt electric motors). BMW’s used all the tech before, but never before combined them.

Any clever tech on the new BMW 5-series?

As well as the ‘Interaction Bar’ and latest-generation BMW OS infotainment system carried across from the i7 and 7-series, BMW has partnered up with AirConsole to provide the driver and passengers with the opportunity to play games when the car is stationary.

As for driver and infotainment tech, Automated Lane Change with eye activation is a world-first, for example, but there’s familiar hands-off driving, active cruise with traffic-light recognition and remote-control parking among 40-plus systems from the 7-series.

New BMW 5-series: price and release date

The all-new 5-series is available to order now, with first deliveries coming in October 2023. Prices for the 520i model start at £49,850 in the UK.

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator