The BMW 5-Series has always slotted between the Bavarian maker’s high-volume 3-Series and full-size 7-Series in size and price.
But while BMW currently offers plug-in hybrid versions of those two sedans, it doesn’t yet do so with the 5-Series (although it did show one several years ago as part of a Chinese joint venture).
Now BMW is rolling out a next-generation 5-Series plug-in hybrid that will be more widely available.
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Called the BMW 530e iPerformance, it was introduced last week as BMW rolled out a complete redesign of the entire 5-Series lineup.
BMW uses the “iPerformance” tag to plug-in hybrids based on existing models, in order to tie them to the “i” family of dedicated plug-in models.
The powertrain in the plug-in hybrid 5-Series is derived from that of the 330e iPerformance, meaning it includes a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, eight-speed automatic transmission, and a single electric motor.
Total system output should essentially match the 248 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque of the smaller 330e, with powering going to the rear wheels.
That will get the 530e from 0 to 62 mph in 6.2 seconds, according to BMW.
The carmaker also quotes an electric-only range of 28 miles, although that’s likely as measured on the less-stringent European testing cycle.
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A comparable U.S. EPA figure would be 20 to 30 percent lower.
All 2017 5-Series models use a new body that BMW says is lighter than before, despite being slightly slightly longer, wider, and taller than the outgoing 5-Series.
BMW also equipped the 2017 5-Series with copious amounts of driver aids, including adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning systems that can provide steering assistance to the driver, and a self-parking feature.
Besides the plug-in hybrid, BMW will offer a standalone 2.0-liter turbocharged four on the 530i, and a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six on the 540i.
M550i and M5 performance models with turbocharged V-8 engines will join the lineup later on.
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While BMW has not said so explicitly, the 530e iPerformance will almost sure be offered in the U.S.
It goes on sale in other markets in March 2017.
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