BMW has proven that it takes the adoption of alternative powertrain systems in Australia very seriously, unveiling its plug-in hybrid 530e iPerformance sedan at line-ball pricing compared to the petrol-only 530i it’s based on.
Previously BMW has offered its PHEV SUV, the petrol-electric X5 xDrive40e, at parity pricing with its equivalent diesel X5 xDrive40d, an advantage eroded slightly by the small premium usually applied to diesel vehicles compared to their petrol equivalents.
As well as a matching price, the 530e will be offered in Australia with an identical level of equipment as the petrol-powered 530i on which it is based.
The bold pricing move marks the first time in Australia that a more advanced, more fuel-efficient variant of the same model has been offered without a price penalty to cover the additional battery system and electric motor hardware required for a hybrid vehicle.
The 530e, priced from $108,900 plus on-road costs arrives just six-months after the regular 5 Series range went on sale in Australia, slotting into BMW’s plug-in hybrid iPerformance range alongside PHEV version of the 3 Series, 7 Series, and X5.
"BMW Australia has worked tirelessly to introduce the 530e iPerformance at a highly attractive price; indeed, it is sits as an equal to the popular 530i," said BMW Group Australia CEO Marc Werner.
"We feel this position enables customers unprecedented access to an equivalent iPerformance vehicle, giving the 5-Series buyer an option that is environmentally strong but also great value."
The 530e uses a less powerful version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the 530i, capped at 135kW and 290Nm but makes up for any performance losses thanks to the addition of an electric motor that contributes 83kW and 250Nm electric motor, fed by a 9.2 kW/h lithium ion battery, bringing combined outputs up to 185kW and 420Nm, matching the 530i’s power but handing the 530e a 70Nm advantage although both share 0-100km/h time of 6.2 seconds.
The biggest difference comes at the pump, with the 530e able to travel up to 43km on battery power alone, potentially allowing short-trip commuters to travel to and from work without needing the petrol engine at all. BMW claims fuel consumption as low as 2.3L/100km on the European cycle.
The battery can be recharged to 80 percent in under four hours via a regular mains power outlet with a supplied cable, while an optional 3.7kW BMW iWallbox can be installed at your home or office and halves the charging time to 80 percent.
Mechanically the 530e retains a rear wheel drive layout driven through an eight-speed automatic transmission and comes equipped with M Sport exterior styling and upgraded brakes, leather trim, front sports seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, and BMW’s latest generation iDrive multimedia system including a 10.25-inch colour touchscreen, satellite navigation, wifi, Bluetooth and DAB+ digital radio.
BMW also includes its latest semi-autonomous driving systems such as active cruise with stop-and-go during heavy traffic, lane-keeping assistance with semi-automated lane-changing and a camera than can read speed limit signs and automatically adjust the vehicle speed to match via cruise control or speed limiter.
Owing to its unique powertrain, the 530e also comes with additional features from BMW's ConnectedDrive services, a battery charging cable and a six-year/100,000km warranty for the battery.
530e - $108,900
Manufacturer’s list price excluding on-road costs.
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