New 2020 BMW 5 Series arrives with 530PS V8 M550i flagship
More electrified versions than ever before – including five plug-in hybrids – join familiar petrol and diesel variants in the wide new line-up, headlined for enthusiasts by a new-to-UK performance flagship in the form of the M550i xDrive saloon.
With a 4.4-litre turbo V8 pumping out 530PS (523bhp) backed up by 750Nm (553lb ft) of torque to all four wheels, the saloon-only M550i fits the bill as a junior M5, boasting a 0-62mph time of 3.8 seconds. The real new M5 is expected later. While that is sure to be even more powerful, we can also expect it to be substantially more expensive than the M550i, which starts at £67,595.
The mid-life facelift for the seventh-generation Five touches all saloon and estate models, with rear- or all-wheel-drive. At the other end of the petrol range from the M550i is the 181bhp entry 520i, while diesels start with the 188bhp 520d and go up to the 335bhp 540d. Tweaks to the turbos mean all versions are more powerful than the previous models.
All the four and six-cylinder models now feature mild-hybrid technology: a 48-volt starter generator and second battery that together provide an 11bhp power burst when needed, along with an engine-off coasting function to save some fuel. Dynamically it’s all expected to be just the same as before; that is, the class of the executive field.
The design changes aim to give the car more sporting presence and endow the interior with an enhanced premium feel, but mostly it’s all very familiar 5 Series. The fresh look is achieved with new design accents, new headlight graphics (and optional laser lights) and the latest single-frame take on the BMW kidney grille. There are aerodynamic new wheels (optional) and new finishes for air intakes as part of the M Sport package. Reprofiled bumper section and diffuser at the rear give a cleaner new look, but otherwise there can be no mistaking either saloon or Touring for what they are.
Upgrades inside include a standard 10.25-inch control display (with 12.3-inch optional), and enhancements to control layout and trim materials. A switch to BMW’s latest seventh-gen operating system, standard on all, offers more new applications and connectivity options than before, as well as extended personalisation. There are improvements to the cloud-based satnav, to connectivity (now Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay) and a range of driver-assist features with extended functionality.
Among the clever new things the latest Fives can do is automatically switch to all electric-mode when driving into city green zones – the eDrive Zone function is standard on all five plug-in hybrid models (which are the only models with electric-only capability). Another new feature is the Drive Recorder, part of the optional Parking Assistant Plus, which records up to 40 seconds of video footage from points around the vehicle.
The new range is being kicked off in the UK with a limited M Sport special edition. As you can guess, it gets lots of M Sport goodies, including the new 20-inch BMW Individual Air Performance Wheels, plus the M Sport division’s exclusive, and super-cool, Donington Grey metallic paint finish. The new 5-series is available to order now, with prices from £37,480.