BMW has unveiled the new 5 Series range in the form of two models – the ICE 5 Series Sedan and the all-electric i5.
Set to roll out globally from October 2023, this new range will be offered with various powertrain options – including an all-electric drivetrain, internal combustion engines with 48-volt mild hybrid technology and, coming to the US in 2024, a plug-in hybrid system. At market launch, the all-electric BMW i5 will be available in two model variants.
In the U.S., pricing starts at $57,000 (€53,121) for the 530i before increasing to $60,200 (€56,103) for the 530i xDrive. The all-electric i5 eDrive40 is priced at $66,800 (€62,254) while the i5 M60 xDrive will cost $84,100 (€78,377). The 540i xDrive version will cost $64,900 (€60,484). These prices all include a $995 (€927) fee for destination and handling.
The electric motor of the BMW i5 eDrive40, located at the rear axle, generates a maximum power output of 335 hp (249 kW) and a maximum torque of 295 lb-ft (351 Nm), or 317 lb-ft (429 Nm) when the Sport Boost or Launch Control function is activated.
The EV’s battery offers provides a usable energy content of 84.3 kWh. When fitted with standard 19-inch wheels, the i5 eDrive40 has an estimated electric range of 295 miles (474 km) on a single charge. The Combined Charging Unit in the BMW i5 enables Level 2 AC charging at up to 11 kW. When connected to a DC fast charger, its maximum capacity of 205 kW allows the battery to be recharged from 10% to 80% in about 30 minutes. BMW confirmed that first-time owners of the new BMW i5 will receive two years of complimentary 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America DC fast-charging locations across the U.S.
The all-electric models in the new BMW 5 Series range are the OEM’s first vehicles to use Plug & Charge. The standard works to streamline the charging experience at compatible public charging stations by eliminating the need for the user’s charging account to be accessed using the provider’s app or associated card.
Customers can store up to five individual Plug & Charge-enabled accounts from different providers in the vehicle’s iDrive system. As soon as the vehicle is connected to the charging point, the data necessary to access an account and take payment is sent to the vehicle via the charging cable. The authentication required to initiate charging and payment then takes place automatically at any of the stored charging locations.
Inside, users can find the digital BMW Curved Display, a key design element of the new 5 Series interior that is angled towards the driver. Supporting it is the BMW Interaction Bar with ambient lighting in the instrument panel and door area (standard on i5 models, optional on the 530i and 530i xDrive), My Modes that enables a customizable driving and interior experience, and a new gear selector switch on the center console control panel.
The BMW Curved Display itself consists of a 12.3-inch Information Display behind the steering wheel, and a 14.9-inch Control Display, which together form a single digital unit. The display is also the central component of the BMW iDrive experience in its latest generation, based on BMW Operating System 8.5. In this new guise, it offers a new graphic display with a clear start screen and all-new QuickSelect access for simple touch operation.
The control system is designed to be operated primarily using the touch screen and natural language commands, but dedicated steering wheel buttons and the BMW iDrive Controller (on the center console) can also be used. The BMW Head-Up Display and BMW Natural Interaction, for controlling functions using gestures, are available as optional equipment.
BMW Operating System 8.5’s start screen permanently shows the map view of the vehicle’s navigation system, or other individually configurable displays. On the same level, vertically arranged widgets are available on the driver’s side of the BMW Control Display. Users can likewise switch between widgets by swiping vertically. To display a different set of content, a horizontal swiping gesture is also possible within some widgets.
These corresponding functions can be highlighted using QuickSelect, which enables a process like this to happen more quickly – without switching to a submenu. Once the user is happy with their changes to the settings, they can tap the Home symbol at the bottom to return to the start screen. In addition to the Home symbol, there are now also symbols for direct access to the climate control menu, All Apps menu, Navigation, Media, and Communication as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
In a partnership with AirConsole, an online gaming platform, BMW will offer in-vehicle gaming to occupants of models in the new 5 Series range. Here, the driver and passengers can choose from a variety of casual videogames when the vehicle is stationary. Here for example, they can be played while the i5’s battery is charging.
To activate this capability, users will only need their smartphone – which also acts as a controller – and the BMW Curved Display, where the platform’s content is hosted. After launching the vehicle’s AirConsole app, a connection between the smartphone and the vehicle can be established by scanning a QR code shown on the Curved Display.
AirConsole’s technology enables the instant delivery of games over-the-air and its use of smartphones as controllers. Through this particular configuration, several players can take part in the game at the same time, including rear passengers. It is possible to play AirConsole games independently, or alongside all vehicle passengers.
At launch, a wide selection of games will available – including racing, sports, and quiz games as well as simulation, strategy, jump-and-run, and puzzle games. Around 20 titles can readily be accessed, including “Go Kart Go”, “Golazo”, “Music Guess”, and “Overcooked” – with more games delivered over the vehicle lifetime.