BMW’s on the charge towards electrification, and it’s taken the next step with the 5 Series, launching the new 530e and 550e xDrive Sedan models available as plug-in hybrid options from November onwards.
Fresh off the back of launching the all-electric BMW i5, also available as a combustion engine model with 48 V mild hybrid technology, along with introducing the i7 Protection, the armour-plated version to resist firearm and explosive attacks, the German brand has rounded off the BMW Series 5 with two new classic sedans with hybrid powertrains.
The eighth generation of the wildly successful business sedan feature BMW’s eDrive technology for plug-in hybrids and offers spontaneous power delivery, clearly increased efficiency and a significantly increased electric range. It is combined in the 530e with a four-cylinder petrol engine and with an in-line six-cylinder petrol engine in the 550e.
The electric motor, specially developed for the hybrid drive, is also integrated into the 8-speed sport transmission along with its power electronics. Numbers for the motor? For a hybrid, they’re good.
The 550e’s motor can produce an output of up to 145 kW or 197 hp, with a 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol engine. When integrated together, they can generate a maximum system output of 360 kW/489 hp. You’re wondering how good that would be in real-life performance? Well, the 550 e can do 0-100kmph in just 4.3 seconds and get to a max speed of 250kmph, with 140kmph possible on purely electric operating mode. Not too shabby for a sedan!
The 530e is no slouch too. It has a combined output of 220 kW/299 hp, aided by the motor and the 2.0 -litre four-cylinder petrol engine with BMW’s Turbo technology, which makes it go from 0-100kmph in 6.3 seconds.
The range also gets a bump up, thanks to the compact electric motor offering higher torques, as well as another dimension of the car which often gets overlooked, improved aerodynamics. The WLTP certified electric range for the BMW 550e xDrive Sedan is now 83 to 90 kilometres (49 – 56 miles). For the 530e, it’s 93 to 103 kilometres (54 to 62 miles), making longer commutes possible without producing any local emissions.
When driving, the latest version of adaptive recuperation helps to recover electrical energy during overrun and braking phases. The high-voltage battery provides an increased usable energy content of up to 19.4 kWh. The maximum charging power has been doubled compared to the previous models and is now 7.4 kW, so that the high-voltage battery can be charged from zero to 100 percent of its capacity within 3 hours and 15 minutes.
And there’s no need to compromise when it comes to storage with the new BMW 5 Series too. With a total of 520 litres, the storage volume of the plug-in hybrid models is just as large as that of the purely combustion engine powered variants.
All in all, things seem to be looking really exciting for the German brand, which has scored a big win over our hearts with its recent concept reveal of the future of 3 Series, the brilliant, unique and intriguing Neue Klasse, wowing showgoers at the recent IAA mobility event in Munich.
And although elements of that futuristic design will come to production in 2025, the plug-in hybrid BMW 5 Series models are about going electric now. The 530e and 550e xDrive Sedans are available to order in Germany now, at the recommended retail price of 65,300 euros and 77,300 euros respectively.