Awhile back, we learned that BMW would be making a bit of a strategy shift, adding more focus on highly-efficient hybrid and electric models. BMW wants to boost its plug-in hybrid model portfolio by adding a plug-in powertrain to each of its traditional models. It started by created the BMW X5 xDrive40e, which was followed by the 330e and 740e iPerformance. Now, it’s the turn of the new 5 Series. Adding to the already impressive stable of cars in the new BMW G30 5 Series range is the 2017 BMW 530e iPerformance.
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The fourth addition to BMW’s iPerformance vehicle lineup, the new 530e iPerformance is probably BMW’s best. Being that it’s based on the new G30 BMW 5 Series, it packs the Bavarian brand’s latest suite of luxury technologies, as well as its latest autonomous driving aids and technologies. But it also features BMW’s latest eDrive plug-in powertrain.
The BMW 530e iPerformance packs a 2.0 liter TwinPower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which develops 180 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque. That engine is paired with an electric motor that makes 95 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Combined, they develop 248 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Yes, we know that math doesn’t add up but it’s because of the weird sorcery that is the plug-in powertrain. Combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the BMW 530e iPerformance is capable of 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds, which is brisk for a big luxury hybrid. If it feels anything like the BMW 740e, it will provide far more than enough punch for any customers. The 530e is also capable of driving in full electric mode as well.
The battery pack used in the 530e is a 9.2 kWh battery that’s stored under the rear seat, in contrast to the 740e which has a saddle type that replaces the fuel tank under the rear seat, and the fuel tank was moved to reside under the trunk. In the BMW 530e, the car has a flat-load trunk floor, rather than the 740e’s trunk which has a large hump in the floor toward the back. Using a 120V outlet, such as the Occasional Use Cable, the 530e’s battery is capable of fully charging in 7 hours. With the 3.6kW – 7.2 kW (16/32 A, 240 V) BMW Charging Station, the 530e’s battery can be charged in just under three hours. A fully charged battery allows the 530e to drive in full electric mode at speeds up to 87 mph (in MAX eDrive mode) or 56 mph (AUTO eDrive mode, which utilizes both powertrains as best as possible). It features the same plug-in hybrid modes as all of the other BMW iPerformance vehicles, such as the 740e and 330e.
Which leads to one of the more interesting aspect of the new BMW 530e — it’s the first BMW plug-in hybrid capable of powering just the rear wheels or all four wheels. All other BMW iPerformance hybrids are either one or the other (RWD or AWD), but the BMW 530e can be either. This 530e iPerformance is available in sDrive (rear-wheel drive) spec, as standard but xDrive all-wheel is available as an option.
The BMW 530e iPerformance also comes with the entire suite of BMW’s autonomous driving aids, which can be used in conjunction with eDrive mode. So, under fully electric power, the 530e is capable of driving itself a bit. Using the Blind Spot Detection System, Active Lane Keeping Assistant and Side Collision Avoidance systems, the 530e is capable of keeping itself in lanes, changing lanes on its own and driving itself in slow traffic, using Traffic Jam Assist. These systems can be engaged at speeds from 0-130 mph and use the latest algorithms and improved image recognition to keep the vehicle in its lane and on course.
Another new feature to the BMW 5 Series is the Evasion Aid, which comes with the Active Driving Assistant Plus package and allows the 530e to make evasive maneuvers on its own. For example, if a car ahead of the 5 Series brakes aggressively, to the point where there will be a collision, the 5 Series can check its sides for any oncoming vehicles and, if clear, will make an evasive maneuver to avoid the braking car ahead. This system works at speeds up to 100 mph.
The BMW 530e iPerformance also comes with BMW Connected capabilities, which allows the car to integrate all of the driver’s wireless devices via the Open Mobility Cloud. Whether it be an iPhone, Apple Watch or Android device, the 5 Series can connect with it via BMW Connected. New additions, introduced in the new BMW 5 Series Sedan, include BMW Connected Onboard, which allows personal information such as the next navigation destination, estimated arrival time and current weather conditions at the destination to be shown on the car’s display. BMW Connected is also able to transfer the user’s personal mobility agenda from their smartphone straight to their car.
One of the coolest features I’ve ever used on a car is BMW’s new 3D Surround View, currently available on the BMW 7 Series, which gives the front passengers a complete 3D view around the car that can be moved and turned so the driver can see absolutely everything around the car. It’s fascinating and available on the new BMW Series.
New to the BMW 5 Series are the ParkNow and On-Street Parking Information systems. The integrated ParkNow feature allows you to search for open parking spots in parking garages in your area, and to see if any have charging stations, and locations can easily be reserved via the navigation system in the car. On-Street Parking Information (OSPI) is receiving its world premiere in the all-new BMW 5 Series Sedan. This cutting-edge technology helps to alleviate the problem of vehicles searching for a parking space, which accounts for a large part of traffic congestion in metropolitan areas. OSPI works similar to the Advanced Real Time Traffic Information system, using historical and current data to draw conclusions regarding the availability of parking spaces on route within the coverage area. The system then uses a model to predict the odds of finding an open parking spot. A color coding on the navigation map displays the systems suggestions
The new G30-generation BMW 5 Series is one of the most technologically impressive BMWs ever made and the 530e iPerformance is probably the most tech-intensive of the bunch. Not only does it pack all of the same incredible luxuries and technologies of the entire 5 Series model line but it adds the impressive plug-in hybrid powertrain. For mid-size luxury car buyer looking for efficient, high-tech mobility, it’s hard to look past the BMW 530e iPerformance.