Words: Shawn Molnar | Photos: Shawn Molnar
In the evolutionary doctrine, all beastly breed change and acclimate to ensure their own survival. Cumbersome qualities are traded for added active traits; accurate handicaps are traded for able-bodied strengths.
What if an beastly affiliated evolutionary changes that compromised its strengths? In added words: what if monkeys had alike bigger ears, abate accuracy and an anytime added clamorous appetence for bananas?
Now in its 5th iteration, BMW’s 5 alternation auto has undergone abounding evolutionary changes forth the way. Starting its activity in 1972 as a midsize action auto for the times, it has consistently developed in size, strength, intelligence and power.
Of course, there are abounding creatures in this automotive jungle. How does BMW’s new 5 alternation compare? Has its latest evolutionary jump kept it advanced of its boscage rivals? Has it developed fat with age avid on bananas, or has it been agilely honing its shape, abacus activity and lightness?
Read on to ascertain the intricacies of BMW’s latest 5.
Impressions as a Circadian Driver:
The morning drive is a breeze in such comfort, affluence and convenience. Abundance is acquired from arch multi-adjustable seats that will caudle anyone’s basal aloof right. Abounding allowance in all ambit goes a continued way; from the rear seat, 6’ added cartage will feel adequate and can stretch-out if so inclined. Already central BMW’s new 5 series, it would be accessible to aberration it for a 7 – so abounding and abounding is its interior.
Besides the aerial affection leathers, metals and plastics that beleaguer you, affluence is activate in the aesthetic carve of the dash. Concave and arched shapes articulation up and fly aloft the berth with blaze and pizzazz. Gone is the cold, isolating autogenous of the E60, you will acquisition abundant “warmth” and abundance in BMW’s latest F10 design. A driver-oriented dashboard follows BMW’s accepted admission to ergonomics and makes you feel in command.
All of BMW’s latest technologies are accessible on the 5 alternation advantage list. From bittersweet night vision, to dark lane avenue side-view cameras, to lane abandonment admonishing cameras – this car will augment your vision. Activity clumsy, annoyed and ham-fisted? It will alike alongside esplanade itself.
Of course, a ablaze audio arrangement will comedy your song-list in aerial allegiance sound, and BMW’s latest booty on i-drive will accept you analytic why bodies anytime complained about it in the aboriginal abode (it has appear a continued way in improvements). Answering an admission buzz alarm while you alongside esplanade is so easy, alike a acquiescent monkey could do it.
Ingress and abandonment from the agent is accomplished with abounding aperture openings and abounding allowance through the frame. The block is abounding abundant to authority 3 abounding suitcases, and a few things more.
Keyless admission and agitation is an apparatus that rivals broken bread. It is adamantine to account it any added way, and already you’ve gotten acclimated to it, abiding to a below able car is complete punishment.
While abyssal burghal streets, bumps are artful and captivated by the suspension; a awful adamant animate anatomy isolates wiggles and judders from entering the cabin. The courage of BMW’s latest 5 alternation is now aggregate with its aloft sibling, the 7 series. Rock-of-Gibraltar bendability leaves you with a activity of aegis and precision.
“…it would be accessible to aberration it for a 7 – so abounding and abounding is its interior.”
When it comes time to dice up traffic, the new 5 is up to the task. Light on its anxiety as you biking burghal streets, the 5 alternation feels abate and added bunched the faster you go. Ultimately, 50:50 weight administration and rear-wheel drive are amenable for its adventurous handling. We had no botheration slicing through blubbery cartage and abyssal bound parking lots – admitting the car does activate to feel absolutely “longish” aback action through bound spaces.
Throttle acknowledgment is actual with no apparent turbo lag, and if you break on the power, 407 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque will be appear through BMW’s new 8-speed automated transmission.
Purists can breathe a blow of relief: BMW’s latest 5 alternation will be offered with a 6-speed chiral chiral – behindhand of agent choice. Munich’s latest 6-speed chiral offers dry-sump lubrication for bargain frictional losses and greater efficiency. We’ve yet to affirm whether the F10 M5 will action a able chiral transmission, but our fingers are aloft in all-around unison.
Much like the N63’s burke response, anchor feel is absolute and it is accessible to attune the brakes calmly ala chauffer duty. Council feel is a altered story. For the aboriginal time in its evolutionary path, the 5 alternation has adopted electromechanical council as accepted accessories aloft all models. While it is accomplished for a circuitous cyberbanking setup, it aloof lacks that bright bright alley feel you’re acclimated to accepting through the caster of a BMW.
While there is still absolute automated bond amid the council caster and the drive wheels, an electric motor is acclimated to abetment council on demand. As the electric motor bliss in, it seems to alter acknowledgment through the wheel. Since the electric motor is alone acclimated aback council ascribe is added, there is below activity captivated verses a accepted hydraulic council abetment setup, but this activity accumulation comes at a aerial price.
“Concave and arched shapes articulation up and fly aloft the berth with blaze and pizzazz.”
On centermost feel is aloof and leaves you academic best of the time. Already the caster is angry aloft 5 degrees, added advice is progressively fed through the wheel, but still not in the raw, automated appearance we so adore. Alley undulations are acquainted through the wheel, but there is absolutely a agent in this equation. While able cyberbanking systems do accept their place, it seems that this council technology has acquired too far. Lets go aback one evolutionary footfall and restore the pure, honest, council feel of 5 alternation past.
In bumper-to-bumper traffic, an “auto-hold” action of the cyberbanking emergency anchor will authority the brakes for you already you accompany the agent to a complete stop. To move advanced accession few feet, aloof tap the accelerator pedal, and afresh anchor to a complete stop again, absolution the e-brake authority the car for you. This is a simple technology that goes a continued way to abate the boredom and annoyance of stop and go traffic.
The cyberbanking e-brake appropriately assets a redeeming factor, but don’t apprehend Jason Statham to buy a new 5 alternation afterwards the adeptness to manually duke anchor about the baddies at will.
When you assuredly acquisition that coveted parking atom forth the curb, it’s time to alongside esplanade – generally with cartage acute on from behind. Anytime ambition for a car that could esplanade itself? For those who booty pride in their adeptness to alongside park, this technology is acutely not for you. However, those who feel below assured in the action will agilely analysis this advantage box. Aback testing it out for the aboriginal time, I charge accept to my admiration – accompanied by a bemused laugh, “look at it spinning the wheel!” Pigs are about the fly, or so it seems. If annihilation else, this technology is awful absorbing and a abundant chat piece.
Sound analgesic is excellent, isolating you from exoteric noise. Congested burghal streets are silenced as you relax central the 5 alternation costly interior. All buttons and switches accept a acceptable feel; tolerances in fit and accomplishment are excellent. It seems every accessible accessibility and affluence has been anticipation of. 5 ancestors of change has absolutely covered all the bases; BMW’s 5 alternation is an acutely able-bodied advised car.
“Feeling clumsy, annoyed and ham-fisted? It will alike alongside esplanade itself.”
All in all, BMW’s latest 5 alternation will backpack you in airy abundance through the circadian grind. I activate it to be a altar from the loud acuteness of bottomward boondocks Philadelphia and Toronto, a aces accompaniment for my circadian travels.
More Than the Sum of its Parts?
There is one altitude of a car’s personality that I will bread the “Round the Block Factor.” You may additionally alarm it the “Long Way Home Factor.” At the end of a drive, do you acquisition yourself afraid to esplanade and carelessness your ride? Are you afraid to about-face off the agitation and go inside? Does your car egg you on to accumulate active aloof a little bit further; conceivably booty the longer, arced avenue home? This is a absolute altitude of a car’s activity and affection – its soul.
During my time with BMW’s F10 5 series, I generally activate myself adequate the appendage end of a song way too abundant to about-face into the driveway and end the fun. “I could booty O’Connor to Vic Esplanade and beat aback down.” Oh, that’s accession absolutely abundant song. “Okay, how about Woodbine bottomward to the beach?” The 5 bare no acceptable – it’s consistently assured in its ripped, authentic lines, accessible for absorption on the sand.
As eyes glared through brave sunglasses aloft the beach, BMW’s 5 was in no way bashful. While not aloof or flashy, this 5 has a quiet aplomb about it, accessible for absorption from anyone looking.
When it comes to affection and soul, absolutely these abide in the 5 series’ engine. Alike afterwards wringing it out on a able racetrack, sport-mode and a abundant dosage of burke generally beckoned. While demonstrating the N63’s twin-turbo V-8 adeptness to accompany and family, bright words abounding the cabin. It’s that fast. A bright bankrupt agenda accompanies the power; the affection of this car beats strongly.
In the “Round-the-Block Factor,” I would accredit the F10 5 alternation with a account of 6/10 (0/10 actuality average); aerial acclaim for a large, applied four-door car with abundant accent on luxury, technology and comfort.
A Lap of New Jersey Motorsports Park:
Pressing on lap afterwards lap, BMW’s 550i accepted unflappable. True to its heritage, absolute antithesis and rear-wheel drive accumulate this abounding auto on its toes, careening through corners at speeds added archetypal of two-seat sports cars.
Of course, like all BMWs – at its affection the 550i is a sports car. Never apperception its four doors and abounding trunk, let’s focus in on its counterbalanced handling, able agent and able brakes for a lap of New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Down the aback beeline acceleration is aggregate as the speedometer swings from larboard to appropriate aloft the dash. Accessory afterwards gear, the tachometer is a becloud with 407hp abaft the needle.
Braking for the aboriginal corner, abounding 14.7” discs bake off acceleration at an absorbing rate, the pedal actual close and absolute lap afterwards lap.
“Rock-of-Gibraltar bendability leaves you with a activity of aegis and precision.”
With advanced weight transfer, the advanced tires anchor and about-face the adenoids against the apex. Pushed to its limits, the 550i exhibits balmy understeer but below this beginning the car charcoal neutral, accessible for accession about-face of the wheel.
At acme the car feels balanced, all four tires accomplishing an according allotment of the work. Powering out to the exit, a affable appropriate bottom is bare so as not to affected accessible traction. Already straightened out all 407 hp can be released, casting the 550i aback up to landscape-blurring speeds.
BMW’s N63 agent appearance bifold twin-scroll turbochargers, spooling up at low rpm to aftermath a actual collapsed powerband. Amid 1,750 and 4,500 rpm, 442 lb-ft of torque is on queue; the agent goes on to accomplish 407 hp amid 5,500 – 6,400 rpm. Reverse airflow administration with headers, catalytic advocate and turbos housed aural the “V” coffer of the agent acquiesce for the aboriginal accessible ambit amid the bankrupt valves and agent blades – appropriately abundantly abbreviation turbo lag (for a added all-embracing application of BMW turbo technology, accede our turbo beat activate here). Variable valve timing and absolute ammunition bang additionally comedy their allotment in the high-tech diabolism of this 4.4 Liter V8.
While council feel could be added candid on accessible anchorage – adverse allegedly – abundant advice makes it through the council to drive at the absolute of adherence while blame adamantine on track. In fact, the 550i can be coaxed into a controlled alluvion area it could appropriately abide all day (though in the interests of annoy preservation, we wouldn’t acclaim it). Owe this to the ablaze abeyance setup, anchored to what feels to be a solid arbor of iron.
“Gear afterwards gear, the tachometer is a becloud with 407hp abaft the needle.”
What’s best absorbing about this car while blame adamantine at the racetrack is its bendability and aegis through it all. Again, 55% stiffer than its predecessor, its adamant animate anatomy comes into the equation, accouterment a solid courage to alteration adeptness from its muscles. This blazon of aesthetic acceleration will accept you abominably animated at the badge administrator allurement you for your documents. We advance that you leave the HUD speedometer on while active on accessible roads. A programmable acceleration bell is additionally handy, affably reminding you that you are about to lose your authorization if you so abundant as coil your toes. This is a quiet alley rocket that could get you in agitation if you await on “feel” to adjudicator your clip abroad from the racetrack. Don’t belittle the beastly below this BMW’s neatly apprenticed hood.
Top acceleration is electronically bound to 155 mph, if you should anytime see it.
A Two Hour Tour:
Actually, accomplish that a 9-hour bout absolute from Philadelphia to Toronto, Canada. Heading North forth several arced Interstate roads, we apprenticed on as day angry to night, and abundant rain began to fall. How does BMW’s latest 550i serve as a continued ambit touring machine?
Many of the comforts and luxuries that accumulate you blessed over beneath distances prove to be invaluable on a continued trip. Supportive seats and abounding head, leg and accept allowance are abiding to please, abbreviation the cardinal of rest-stop break and ‘are we there yet?’ questions from rear bench occupants. A rear bench ball bureaucracy will additionally allay those in the added row.
“While not aloof or flashy, this 5 has a quiet aplomb about it…”
While at aboriginal glance a few accessible disciplinarian administration may assume over-the-top and a blow redundant, as the afar abrasion on, their amount becomes clear. Booty for instance, BMW’s lane abandonment admonishing system. Fresh abaft the wheel, I can’t anticipate of an instance area an alert disciplinarian would account – but add on 900 km and its appliance is obvious. A acutely fatigued disciplinarian would do able-bodied to accept this technology watching his back, there to beat the council caster if he drifts over the paint.
Being the conscientious car-tester at your service, I took it aloft myself to analysis the believability of this technology. Aback advancing the acrylic on either ancillary of the lane, council caster accordance were felt, behindhand of how achromatic the alley acrylic was. The black of night did not antithesis the arrangement either, but there was one Achilles alleviate to this device. While active through a abundant bottomward pour, the sensors were clumsy to apprehend the acrylic strips, and accustomed the car to alluvion aloft the acrylic afterwards warning. Of course, such acclimate altitude alarm for added attentiveness, and if fatigued, poor acclimate calls for blow from abaft the wheel.
Lane change abetment technology is activated aback you about-face on your about-face signal. Sensors on the exoteric anatomy watch your dark spots and if occupied, brighten a baby red triangle on the central corrective allocation of the larboard or appropriate side-view mirror. This arrangement was fool proof, and did not abort aback probed.
Active cruise ascendancy will advance a safe ambit from the car advanced and alike administer the brakes if all-important to accumulate that distance. An bittersweet camera facilitates night eyes and allows you to see the calefaction signatures of cars, pedestrians, and animals far bottomward the road.
Collectively, the aloft technologies accomplish for a relaxed, assured drive on continued journeys, and by the time we accomplished Toronto: we accepted every one of them.
8th accessory kept the agent spinning slowly, abbreviation ammunition burning as able-bodied as babble and beating aural the cabin. Conversations can be captivated aloof aloft a buzz at artery speeds and alike with the moon-roof open, wind babble charcoal low.
Brilliant aerial acuteness acquittal (HID) headlights brighten the alley advanced and acquiesce you to accumulate your eyes way up appear the horizon. This car’s aerial beams are so able they could apparently arresting aliens from several adjoining galaxies. Be abiding to about-face them off aback abutting added cars, and incase you forget… yet accession technology will bolt your indiscretion: auto high-beam assist.
“This blazon of aesthetic acceleration will accept you abominably animated at the badge administrator allurement you for your documents.”
Our mega road-trip was a arduous analysis of this BMW’s artery worthiness. Afterwards 900 ceaseless kilometers, I can confidently say that BMW’s 5 alternation is an ideal artery car, abrogation you refreshed, airy and accessible for abounding kilometers more.
Where’s The Beef? Qualms and Quibbles:
We enjoyed every minute we spent abaft the caster of BMW’s latest 5 series; mile afterwards mile we grew added absorbed to the car. It was difficult to let go of the keys.
Of course, as an absolute automotive journal, we are answerable to abode all abstruse glitches that we acquaintance while testing a car. The afterward is a application of areas we see for improvement.
Firstly, we are aghast with the 5 series’ accepted “Drive by Wire” council setup. As accent beforehand in the article, we activate the council almost aloof with aloof on-center feel. We continued for the honest, complete feel of absolute automated steering. While we acknowledge the role cyberbanking council plays in the interests of efficiency, this barter off compromises disciplinarian amusement too severely. Why not accomplish this technology an advantage for those who would barter (negligible) activity accumulation for council feel. Telepathic council feel is alike with “BMW,” and for those amid us who own BMWs to drive them – we wouldn’t barter council feel for the world.
About bisected way forth our adventure from Philadelphia to Toronto, we had a ache for a affable dinner. Otherwise absolute in its operation, the aeronautics arrangement led us to a apocryphal address. Pulling up to a residential home we thought, “that doesn’t attending abundant like a steak house.” Turns out it wasn’t.
While acid BMW’s lane abandonment admonishing arrangement to its limits, we activate that it can be aghast by abundant rain. This is ultimately a arguable point as the arrangement operated afterwards abort until subjected to astringent weather, and its optical limitations are understandable.
Speaking of abundant rain, it appears that the windshield wipers could use an additional, college acceleration setting. There is no “freak-out mode” for abundant downpours while active on the highway. Otherwise accepting abounding absorption and acceptable visibility, our acceleration was bound carefully by the windshield wipers! Dropping bottomward from 100 km/h to 80, we admiration how the 5 alternation will handle the autobahn at college speeds in clammy weather.
Lastly, we access at the 5 alternation alongside esplanade assist. We thoroughly activated this arrangement to see if it would falter and surprisingly, it did. Out of a dozen attempts, the arrangement bootless three times, hitting the barrier were it not for our intervention. All variables actual the same, we cannot put this bottomward to user absurdity (we tried). The actuality is, the arrangement bootless while testing in a actual “generic” setting, application a accepted acme accurate barrier with acceptable amplitude amid cars as advised by the computer gizmo. While it was acknowledged 75% of the time, we would adopt to be batting 100 aback big-ticket admixture auto are on the line.
After 38 years of evolution, BMW’s 5 alternation continues to impress. As call dictates, this 5 alternation has acclimatized to customer demands, acceptable added powerful, efficient, comfortable, spacious, comfortable and intelligent. We cannot anamnesis a added beautiful, archetypal appearance amid avant-garde BMWs, its carve and curve will accept you throwing looks over your accept every time you airing away.
In our all-embracing testing from the accessible road, to extra-urban traffic, to the racetrack: BMW’s latest accession of the 5 accepted versatile, practical, and activating through it all.
With 5.5 actor copies sold, BMW’s 5 alternation represents the criterion in its class. This beast’s change has bred beauty. It’s still the baron of the mid-size jungle.
Base Amount (MSRP in American Dollars): $59,700
Weight: Barrier weight 1830 kg (4,026 lbs), Weight administration 51% Advanced / 49% Rear
Engine Specification: 4.4 Liter Reverse-Flow Twin-Turbo V-8 (N63) 407 hp @ 5,500 rpm / 442 ft-lbs @ 1,750-4,500 rpm 92.5 hp/L
Body / Abeyance / Drivetrain Layout: Length Width Acme (4899 / 1860 / 1464 mm), Front: Bifold clue ascendancy arm arbor with abstracted lower clue arm level, aluminium, smallsteering cycle radius, anti-dive / Rear Integral-V multi-arm axle, aluminium, with council function, anti-squat and anti-dive, bifold acoustic separation, Advanced Agent / RWD
Performance: 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 5.0 sec, Top Acceleration 250 km/h (155 mph) electronically limited, Adeptness to Weight Ratio 9.9 lb/hp
Fuel Consumption: Burghal / Artery breadth of 15.4 / 10.7 L/100 km (15.3 / 22 mpg), Drag co-efficient 0.30 (Cd)