Update: 2011 BMW 5 Series official photos
Could this really be the new 5-series? According to the article below, this model will be available in 2010.
When you think of luxury executive saloons, one car always comes to mind, the BMW 5-series. A class leader since its inception, the 5-series remains a crucial car to BMW. With the current E60 5-series introduced back in 2004, BMW is preparing the sixth-generation model to be revealed in 2010. It will be a tough job for the designers as well as the thousands of engineers working across BMW‘s development centers to renew the current model, a car that already resides at the edge of the technical front line.
The new design is critical for BMW‘s design manager Adrian van Hooydonk and his team, who have to create an exterior that radiates the brand’s distinctive design values and at the same time feels new and fresh. Using information from various sources, these renderings were compiled by our partners over at Sweden’s Auto Motor and Sport and their illustrator Radovan Varicak, giving us a preview of what the final version will look like.
The front-end will likely feature a more upright kidney grille in order to comply with stronger pedestrian protection laws, while the headlights won’t be stretched out like on the current model. BMW‘s characteristic interaction between convex and concave shapes will still be emphasized, and will be clearly indicated in the engine hood’s lines.
The rear roofline and C-pillar connects more fluidly to the trunk lid, which is now devoid of the Bangle-butt that was so universally derided with the E60 model. Parts of the tail-lights continue onto the trunk lid in order to strengthen the impression of width. We must say, this design is very pleasing and if BMW’s car looks anything like this, we sure it’ll lure back any customers loss to its rivals because of the controversial styling of the former E60.
The new 5-series is being built off an entirely new chassis, with double wishbones in the front, like on the new X5. The move is designed to give better control and road grip around corners, according to the chassis engineers. With the aid of the extremely fast Flex-Ray automotive network communications protocol, the adaptive shock absorbers is set to become more effective, as will active steering.
BMW will also be updating its iDrive system for the new 5-series, making life a little easier with the addition of yet another pair of programmable buttons. Those that think the standard 5-series isn’t sporty enough will have to wait for a few more years until the new M5 turns up with its V10 motor and more power than the 507hp offered in today’s edition. The M version will be the only 5-series model offered with a new dual clutch gearbox (similar to VW’s DSG technology).
The standard version will instead be fitted with an 8-speed automatic transmission that will take the fight to Lexus. This gearbox is being developed by ZF, which will also manufacture a new four wheel drive system that will feature in the new Five. A new 5-series wouldn’t be complete without the introduction of more electronic driver’s aids, and this time BMW is bringing Dynamic Performance Control to the table. The system actively distributes torque between the wheels, depending on how the car acts during a turn. The result is increased security and the ability to handle larger side forces. The new differential will also come in the new 3-series and potentially even the 1-series as an option.
A full-hybrid system, featuring an electric motor in parallel with an engine, is not currently planned for the new 5-series, which instead is likely to feature the same system already used in the 1-series. This light-hybrid system consists of an electric starter motor that’s connected to the crankshaft and can function as both a generator and a propulsion system, spinning the engine during initial off the line acceleration. The light-hybrid will be available in both diesel and petrol versions and expect a new V8 diesel engine to make its debut in the next-gen model.
The two-mode hybrid transmission that was developed by BMW together with General Motors and DaimlerChrysler is mostly aimed at bigger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs. The design features dual motors, and an advanced control system that can allow both engines can be turned on simultaneously, and to regenerate electric power during braking.
This two-mode system, however, is not currently planned for the next generation 5-series, although BMW has not eliminated the possibility that a similar technology can be added towards the end of the model’s life cycle. We’ll have to make do with the light hybrid at the moment since BMW feels it has already succeeded in heavily reducing the fuel consumption of their engines. However, it remains to be seen whether or not BMW will be able to reach the EU’s new requirements for average CO2 emissions of 130g/km by 2012.
That’s it for now, we’ll be back soon with more exclusive news. But in the mean time, if you would like us to keep you updated on all the BMW news, please take a moment and sign up for our email feed. Get updates by email