Right now, we’re still in the honeymoon phase of the BMW G30 5 Series launch. Currently. Most fans are still gawking at its looks and its impressive cabin. However, the beauty of the G30 5 Series isn’t just skin-deep. In fact, it’s quite the contrary, as most of its beauty lies underneath.
It all starts with the chassis. Built on the latest iteration of BMW’s scalable cluster architecture (CLAR), which first underpinned the G11 7 Series, the new 5 Series is lighter, stiffer, stronger and more dynamic than before. Its chassis has been lightened with extensive uses of aluminum and high-strength steel. The new front double-wishbone suspension has been given new kinematics to provide sharper steering and handling response while also increasing long distance comfort. The rear five-link suspension has also been revised to work in tandem with the new front suspension, providing exceptional high-speed stability.
Integral Active Steering (rear-wheel steering in BMW speak) is also available on the new 5 Series, allowing for sharper dynamics and better high-speed maneuvering. If you hadn’t guessed by now, BMW put quite a lot of emphasis on high-speed driving. The reasoning for that is that many of the people who buy 5 Series’ are people who want a luxury car that they can use to take long distances, blitzes down the Autobahn, if you will. The new Dynamic Damper System has also been recalibrated, with new algorithms and new valves, to increase handling without any sacrifice in comfort.
BMW has also upgraded the Active Anti-Roll Stabilization system, ditching the old hydraulic anti-roll bar actuators for electric swivel motors. These are faster acting and more precise, allowing for far improved body control. Plus, this system is lighter and more energy efficient. If this system is combined with the Dynamic Damper Control and the Professional Navigation system, 5 Series buyers will also get an Adaptive driving mode. This utilizes not only the driving style, acceleration and transmission data, but also the navigation system to create the perfect chassis feel. If you’re driving sporty on a twisty road, it can sense what you’re doing and it knows that there are more twists up ahead in the road, so it adjusts the chassis to be sportier. If you’re cruising on a motorway, it relaxes everything down.
The new G30 5 Series also features an extensive amount of driver aids and driver assistance systems, much like its 7 Series older brother. The Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC) can maintain any selected speed between 19 – 155 mph on its own. When combined with the optional Active Cruise Control (ACC), the 5 Series is capable of adjusting itself to the pre-selected speed of traffic. Using an array of sensors, the 5 Series can basically drive itself in traffic: come to a complete stop when necessary and start back up again when able. The 5 Series doesn’t only monitor the vehicle in front of it, but the one in front of that one as well. The front radar sensors are also capable of fully functioning in the snow, so bad weather conditions won’t impede the 5 Series’ ability to assist its driver.
There are new speed limit systems incorporated into the ACC, as well. The optional Speed Limit Info system uses a stereo camera to monitor speed limits and display them to the driver. Buyers can take it one step further and get Speed Limit Assist, which allows the ACC’s cruise control to be speed limited, depending on the current limit, and can even be given a bit of leeway by the driver. The margin of leeway can be set between -9 and +9 mph.
The new 5 Series’ can talk to one another as well. With BMW Connected Services, when a car monitors a speed limit sign, BMW’s backend systems are updated with the speed limits and they’re sent to the navigation system. So your car will always be prepared for upcoming speed restrictions and can help you be proactive about it. Also, if a connected BMW monitors any sort of road hazard or dangerous weather, that information is also sent to BMW’s backend and will update other BMWs in the area.
BMW’s option Driver Assist Plus package also comes with Lane Keeping Assistant. This can monitor the lanes in the road and help keep the driver safe by adding corrective steering in three different situations. If the car recognizes that you’re veering out of your lane or off of the road, it will add corrective steering to bring you back in. If you’re making a lane change and there’s a car in your way that you haven’t seen, it will bring you back into your current lane. Or, if someone else is cutting into your lane and about to crash into your car, it will provide corrective steering to avoid the collision. All of these lane departure assistants work at speeds up to 70 mph
One of the more impressive parts about all of the driver assistance systems is the evasive maneuver function. Part of the Driver Assist Plus package, the evasive maneuver system can actually quickly steer around a dangerous obstacle in the road if you haven’t seen it. Maybe you take your eyes off the road for a moment and something rolls into the middle of there road, the 5 Series can actually attempt to swerve around it. It can do this at speeds of up to 99 mph.
Some more 7 Series tech makes its way to the 5 Series in the form of the Remote Parking function, Surround View and Remote 3D View. The Remote Parking feature we’ve all seen before, where the car can be remotely parked into a parking space by using the digital Display Key fob from outside of the vehicle. This makes parking into and reversing out of a tight spot, where you’d otherwise not be able to open the door, significantly easier. The Surround View and Remote 3D View we’ve also seen on the 7er. The former allows the drive to see a 3D image of the vehicle and its surroundings. The latter allows owners to see that very same 3D image from their smartphone, allowing owners to check on their car from anywhere.
The new G30 5 Series will also get BMW’s latest generation of iDrive, much like the new 7 Series. So it will gain touchscreen and Gesture Control capabilities. While the latter is a bit gimmicky, the new iDrive system is far improved and easier to use. Its system of horizontal tiles is much simpler than the bevy of vertical minus.
Wireless inductive charging for capable mobile phones is also available. The wireless charging tray is located in front of the cupholders and if your phone isn’t compatible, BMW sells a charging case that will allow you to utilize the function. Also, when the phone is in the charging tray, it also connects to the external aerial, which provides improved signal to the phone, which helps tremendously in areas of weak signal. Apple CarPlay will also be available.
There so much technology in the new 5 Series that it’s almost hard to comprehend. BMW has given the new 5 Series enough tech to make the Millennium Falcon seem outdated. The best part about all of it, though, is that BMW never lost sight of the core values of the 5 Series. Most of its technology development went into its capabilities, its chassis, suspension, comfort and handling. It’s short on gimmicks, big on substance. This new BMW 5 Series could possibly be the best 5 Series yet.