New Generation BMW 5 Series Loses Weight, Gains Driver Assistance Technology

BMW has revealed details of its seventh-generation 5 Series mid-size sedan, with more advanced driver assists and a lower curb weight thanks to the increased use of aluminum, magnesium and high-strength steel.

BMW joins the wannabe autonomous car club with the addition of a steering and lane keeping system that works at up to 210 km/h, a lane change assistant and adaptive cruise control that can monitor speed restrictions and use that information in setting the vehicle's road speed.

Other active safety kit includes an evasion aid that makes it easier for the driver to make the quick steering inputs needed to avoid an obstacle. There's also a side collision warning system that can steer away from another vehicle encroaching from the side, and determine how much room there is to safely make that maneuver.

A lane change assist works at speeds up 180 km/h, and the steering and lane control assistant will keep the car in its current lane up to 210 km/h.

Aluminum has gone into the car's hood, trunklid, roof and doors, along with select structural elements, and along with other engineering tricks, helps make the car 100 kg lighter. Speaking of the hood, it has pyrotechnic hinges that raise and lock the hood in the event of a collision with a pedestrian, to reduce pedestrian injuries.

The global engine range includes turbocharged four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines, and a V8. The 530i will use a 2.0L gasoline four-cylinder making 252 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, marking an 11-hp increase over the outgoing 528i. The 540i's 3.0L six-cylinder gas engine produces 340 hp and 332 lb-ft, both of those figures coming up from an even 300. A V8-powered 550i will boast 462 hp -- up from 445 -- and 479 lb-ft.

There are also a pair of diesels, but we expect only the larger of the two -- a 3.0L six-cylinder -- will come to North America as the 530d, its 265 hp and 457 lb-ft outstripping the current 535d's power figures by 10 hp and 44 lb-ft.

Joining the lineup is a plug-in hybrid model called the 530e, but BMW hasn't confirmed whether it's coming to North America.

If BMW follows tradition established with the outgoing car, all engines will be mated with xDrive all-wheel drive for Canada, and we expect all cars will get an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard kit; in Europe, only the four-cylinder diesel is listed with a six-speed manual.

Inside, look for an updated iDrive infotainment system based on a 10.25-inch touchscreen that can be operated via the traditional control knob, touchscreen, voice or gesture control. BMW says smartphones will be "fully integrated," with wireless, Apple CarPlay (Android Auto doesn't get a mention) and a wifi connection that will support up to 10 devices.

BMW says the new 5 Series will go on sale in February, with the PHEV 530e joining the line about a month later. Watch this space for pricing and fuel consumption information, as well as Canada-specific powertrain and feature lists.

New engines bring updated model designations, too 10/13/2016 3:56:18 PM