With the forthcoming arrival of the all-new 2024 5 Series, BMW will also offer something truly new: the BMW i5, the first fully electric 5 Series since the model launched in 1972.
Electrification permeates the new 5 Series, as it will also be offered with internal combustion engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system as well as a plug-in hybrid, although the latter won’t be available until next year.
The new 5 Series will be offered as the 530i ($57,900), 530i xDrive ($60,200), 540i xDrive ($64,900), i5 eDrive40 ($66,800), and i50 M60 xDrive ($84,100). Prices do not include a $995 destination charge, options or sales tax.
The 5 Series’ new wardrobe
BMW didn’t look far when it decided to update the appearance of new 5 Series — one need only take a look to the next model up to see the inspiration, the i7.
Like its bigger brother, the 5 Series’ twin kidney-shaped grille grows larger, sporting the same characteristics seen on other new BMWs, and flanked by minimalist LED lighting. Below it, angular shapes give way to a softer flowing side sculpting punctuated by sharp, creased character lines.
Thankfully, the new 5 Series retains one its prime design keynotes: its long hood; it also keeps the long dash-to-axle ratio of its predecessors. The lines flow rearward to the softly squared-off trunk. It makes for a crisp, contemporary looking sedan that hints at the fashionable tech that lies within.
Opting for the BMW i5 M60 xDrive brings with it a more aggressive demeanor thanks to its black air intakes, side skirts and side mirrors. It also wears a horizontal slot grille with an M logo, 19-inch M light alloy wheels and a rear apron with a pronounced diffuser insert.
Other models can be fitted with the M Sport Package, which brings with it the black air intakes up front, the flared side skirts and window trim in high-gloss black, as well as a rear apron with a diffuser insert and 19-inch M light alloy wheels. Opting for the M Sport Professional package nets an illuminated front grille framed in high-gloss black, M Shadowline headlights, a discreet rear spoiler, and red M Sport brake calipers.
Both 20- and 21-inch wheels are available.
As with other recently redesigned BMWs, the 5 Series receives a massive horizontal curved display with a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen running BMW Operating System 8.5 with new graphics, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
But the newest feature, and a first for a BMW 5 Series, is the company’s partnership with AirConsole, which provides the driver and passengers with in-car gaming when the vehicle is stationary, with each player’s smartphone acting as a controller. Among the 20 games offered are “Go Kart Go”, “Golazo”, “Music Guess” and “Overcooked.”
Beyond technology, the 5 Series features an optional fixed panoramic roof and a standard sliding sunroof. And, for those who care about such things, the 2024 5 Series can be fitted with a leather-free interior.
When it comes to haul, the BMW i5 eDrive40’s rear axle-mounted electric motor extracts its energy from an 84.3 kWh battery pack, generating 335 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, or 317 lb-ft when the Sport Boost or Launch Control function is activated. Running 0-60 mph takes 5.7 seconds, top speed is 120 mph and range is 295 miles.
In contrast, the BMW i5 M60 xDrive sits at the top of the 5 Series range, with an electric motor on each axle that combines a 590-hp electric drivetrain with M performance characteristics and design detailing. As you might expect, reaching 60 mph takes less time, in this case 3.7 seconds, on the way to a top speed electronically limited to 143 mph or 130 mph with all-season tires. Range is 256 miles and is a preliminary BMW tests based on the EPA’s testing standards.
The BMW i5 enables Level 2 AC charging up to 11 kW. When using a DC fast charger, its 205-kW charging rate fills the battery from 10% to 80% in about 30 minutes. Better yet, BMW i5 buyers get two years of free 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America DC fast-chargers.
To help conserve power, a Max Range feature restricts power and speed to conserve battery power. In addition, the driver can adjust the amount of the i5’s regenerative braking.
Fill her up
But if your preferences are for something more conventional, the 530i and 530i xDrive get a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder engine that produces 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, enough to reach 60 mph in 5.9 seconds with rear-wheel drive, 5.8 seconds with all-wheel drive.
In contrast, the BMW 540i xDrive, which enters production in November 2023, receives its power from a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo engine rated at 375 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque, which increases to 398 lbft with the added 48-volt mild hybrid system. Reaching 60 mph takes but 4.5 seconds.
Regardless of driveline, the 5 Series employs a double-wishbone front axle, five-link rear axle and a 0.3-inch lower ride height. Variable ratio electromechanical power steering is standard. As you might expect, the BMW i5 M60 xDrive gets a standard adaptive M suspension and rear-wheel steering. Active Roll Stabilization is optional.
Meanwhile, the i5 comes with hydraulic damping to help calm body motions over rough stuff.
Notably, BMW’s optional Driving Assistance Professional now includes Highway Assistant, which enables hands-free driving at speeds up to 85 mph. Uniquely, the system’s Active Lane Change can be controlled by eye activation. When the 5 Series recommends changing lanes, the driver merely looks at the corresponding side mirror to confirm the lane change.
In all, it makes for the most advanced 5 Series BMW has built in its five-decade run.
Look for it to arrive in showrooms come October.