Five alive and kicking

Less weight, more grunt and grip will make 5 Series a sub-4sec super sedan

TOBY HAGON

BMWs seventh-gen 5 Series has been revealed, and hints at a new high-power M5 for Australia.

Set to leapfrog the 7 Series as BMWs tech leader, the new 5 Series, codenamed G30, will showcase a 340kW/650Nm 550i that smashes the current M5 thanks to a twin-turbo V8 hooked up to the companys xDrive all-wheel-drive system, a combination designed to get to 100km/h in 4.0sec.

While we understand it has not been engineered for right-hand drive, it gives a tantalising taste of the next M5, which will break cover in late 2017 sporting a 450kW-plus turbocharged V8 and for the first time all-wheel drive, which should reduce the 0-100km/h sprint to 3.5sec.

The new 5 Series is claimed to be 100kg lighter than the model it replaces, with class-leading aero aimed at cementing the crucial new model as the pinnacle of large luxury driving dynamics.

Regular 5 Series models sold in Australia are unlikely to get the xDrive drivetrain, instead making do with BMWs proven and popular rear-drive layout.

Initial engine options in the allturbo line-up are likely to include a 140kW/400Nm 2.0-litre diesel (520d), 185kW/350Nm 2.0-litre petrol (530i) and 195kW/620Nm 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel (530d).

A 530e plug-in hybrid model will combine the 530is four-pot with an electric motor.

Its the tech beneath the skin that should boost the 5s presence against the hard-charging Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6, Jaguar XF and Lexus GS.

An armoury of connectivity includes the first wireless application of Apple CarPlay as well as BMWs most advanced semi-autonomous technology as part of Driving Assist Plus, which will include self-steering with Lane Change Assistant.

Expect the new 5 Series here in March 2017 priced from $85,000.

A subtle makeover

From the outside, the new 5 adopts an evolutionary styling approach and clearly abides by the themes first seen in the 3 and 7 Series.

Compared with the F10 it replaces, its 36mm longer, 6mm wider and 2mm taller, but its drag coefficient of 0.22 will lead the large luxury class, while the 100kg weight saving and trademark 50-50 weight balance are indicative of the efforts gone into ensuring the 5 lives up to its promise of leading dynamically.