At first glance, the news that the next BMW 5 Series will feature an all-steel chassis instead of a part-aluminium construction ? such as in the current model ? seems like a step backwards.
And perhaps technologically it is. It won't be lost though. There's no doubt that BMW will have learned a lot about aluminium construction technologies that we will see again in future models.
Specifically it is the cost and complexity of manufacture for the current model?s aluminium space-frame front end ? attached to the otherwise steel body ? that BMW has found too great to bear.
Originally devised to provide improved weight distribution and cut weight, the process proved to be too costly. According to a BMW insider, it was ?an expensive solution and troubling to perfect in large-scale production".
For the same reasons, BMW dropped the same approach to the new 7 Series.