BMW has finally taken the covers off the all-new G60 5 Series! You may recall that at the end of last month, BMW teased some preliminary photos of the upcoming 5—in camouflage of course—and gave us a small taste of some of the new model’s specs. We also took a brief look back at the previous seven generations of 5s, starting with the first-generation 1972 E12 and ending with the current seventh-generation G30. Now that the eight-generation G60 5 Series has been unveiled, we’ve learned that BMW is starting us out with five flavors of the all-new G60 5 Series.
Due to the forward-thinking, flexibly designed drive architecture, the new 5 Series is being offered in both all-electric and internal-combustion variants. This is no small feat as the chassis needed to be able to handle the extra weight and components required by the electric drivetrains. There are two all-electric i5 models, the M60 xDrive and eDrive40, and three gas-fueled models, the 530i, 530i xDrive, and 540i xDrive, which are have their engines coupled with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. There are a myriad of features, most coming standard on the top-dog i5 M60 xDrive model, but are available as options on most of the other models as well.
Coming off a fresh design victory with their modern Clown Shoe, the Concept Touring Coupe, the new 5 has big shoes—see what I did there!?—to fill. The 5s proportions are quite nice, with a long hood and a rear windshield slopes nicely over muscular rear quarter panels, which are filled-out with a choice of 19, 20, or 21-inch M light alloy wheels wrapped with capable rubber. Though the rear taillight shape and positioning may give off a 2020 VW Passat vibe—oh no he didn’t!—the angular and sculpted rear bumper ties in almost seamlessly with the rear quarters. The famous Hofmeister kink is still present where the rear-door glass meets the C-pillar, and this time there’s a bonus with the number “5” embossed in Shadowline trim.
The front grille inherits some of the qualities of the recent XM in shape and illumination, albeit smaller, which may be a good thing depending on your taste. On both sides of the grille are BMW’s latest interpretation of angel-eye headlights, which now comprise two slightly curved vertical lines. For any programmers reading this, you may be reminded to close any open parenthesis in your code. The front bumper reflects the same materials and angular shapes that are seen on the rear. The front quarter panels are smooth, for both the electric and gas-powered models which house their charging ports and filler necks on the right-rear quarter.
The i5 M60 comes standard with the M Sport package, which BMW describes as “a front apron with black surfaces at its center and large air intakes, a grille featuring horizontal slats and M logo, side skirts and exterior mirror caps finished in high-gloss black, 19-inch M light alloy wheels and a rear apron with a pronounced diffuser insert signal the M Performance model’s sporty character.” This is available on the other four models as well. If you opt for the M Sport Professional package, “adds the illuminated BMW kidney grille framed in high-gloss black, M Shadowline headlights, a discrete rear spoiler, Extended Shadowline trim,” and optional red calipers.
Moving inside, similar angular patterns can be found in the dash, door cards, and front and rear seats. Sport seats are standard, while the multi-contour seats are standard on M60s, but optional on the other models. Another interior option is going completely leather-free, where perforated Veganza wraps the seats, dash, door panels, and even the steering wheel. Hey—if it’s anything like the perforated vinyl sports seats found in the 3 Series of the late 80s and early 90s, it’ll still look great in 30+ years with minimal fuss.
You’d be crazy to think BMW wouldn’t put a large curved display in the new 5—all the cool models are doing it, right? This one runs BMW’s Operating System 8.5, but perhaps like Spinal Tap, one day we’ll go to eleven. Per usual, the M Sport package does crank things up to eleven with “exclusive seat surfaces in Veganza/Alcantara finish with unique perforation in the shoulder area and translucent accents in red and blue. M pedals, an M driver’s footrest, and M-specific displays on the Information Display add to the sporty environment,” per BMW.
Sitting at the top of the G60 5 Series performance pyramid is the i5 M60 xDrive. Making 590 horsepower and 605 pound-feet (with M Sport Boost activated), it’ll scoot to 60 in 3.7 seconds (using M Launch Control) and reach an electronically limited 143 mph. There’s a shift paddle marked “Boost,” which may be the coolest thing I’ve heard today. Pulling back on it for about a second equates to Captain Kirk calling down to Engineering to request more power from Scotty, but in this case Scotty can do it, he has the power. If StarFleet doesn’t foot the bill for this rocketship, perhaps Kirk and Scotty can go halfsies on the $84,100 MSRP.
M Launch Control is also an option on the i5 eDrive40, which houses a rear-axle electric motor producing 335 horsepower and 317 pound-feet (with Sport Boost, bro). Sure, at 5.7 seconds it’s a full two seconds slower to 60 than the M60, but it’s also $17,300 cheaper with an MSRP of $66,800.
As previously stated, the three ICE-powered 5s all have an integrated 48-volt mild-hybrid system, though there is a difference between the 530i and 540i. For the 530i, the starter/generator is in the belt drive rather than in the transmission, where it’s located in all of the six and eight-cylinder engines. The 530i and 530i xDrive house the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet—a 38 found-feet increase over the outgoing 530i. The rear-wheel drive model will run to 60 in a tenth under six seconds, while the xDrive’s additional grip knocks an additional tenth off that. The MSRP for the 530i is $57,900. Add $2,300 for xDrive.
The G60 540i xDrive model gets a significant power bump over the current-generation G30. BMW says, “the VANOS camshaft phasing system is now operated electronically. The resulting extended adjustment range has a positive effect on the powertrain’s emissions.” A 40-horsepower and 52-pound-feet increase over the outgoing model results in 375 ponies and 398 torques (with a 48-volt boost), which propels the 540i xDrive to 60 in 4.5 seconds. While the other four 5s aren’t coming until 2024, production of the i5 eDrive40 starts this November.
As Stan Lee would say, “With great power comes great responsibility,” or at least a great chassis and suspension in this case. The new G60 5 Series has an almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution, an active sport-oriented suspension, and a plethora of trick driver assistance and automated systems, making this 5 something that would work well for a spirited drive or rush-hour traffic.
So, what’s the verdict? Did BMW knock it out of the park like they did with the Concept Touring Coupe? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think. —Mike Bevels
[Photos by BMW.]Tags: 48-volt mild-hybrid system 530i 540i G60 i5 i5 M60 New 5 Series xDrive