BMW will introduce a plug-in hybrid version of the all-new 5 Series model - the 530e iPerformance – from next March.
The newcomer will bring the total of iPerformance models to six - the others are the X1 xDrive 25 Le iPerformance (sold exclusively in China), 740e/740Le iPerformance, X5 40e iPerformance, 330e iPerformance and 225xe iPerformance. BMW says this illustrates how its i brand technology is being integrated into mainstream models.
The all-new BMW 530e iPerformance will employ a 135kW/320Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine teamed with a 70kW/250Nm electric motor for a combined output of 185kW/420Nm which drives the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
BMW says that will translate into zero to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds and combined-cycle fuel consumption of just 1.9l/100km. On pure electric power, the BMW 530e iPerformance will have a top speed of 140km/h and a range of 50kms while the range between fuel stops will be as much as 650km.
Battery re-charge takes five hours using a domestic power source or three hours when connected to a 3.7kW BMW i Wallbox.
The electric motor is placed ahead of the eight-speed automatic transmission and drives via that transmission - deleting the need for a separate torque converter and thus saving weight.
And storing the battery pack - with its own refrigerated cooling system - under the rear seat enables the plug-in hybrid BMW 530e to maintain a 430-litre luggage area with a flat floor.
Visually you will be able to pick the BMW 530e iPerformance via its blue kidney grille slats, blue wheel centres and the charging socket which is on the driver’s side wheel arch near the A-pillar.
Inside there are illuminated BMW ‘eDrive’ letters on the door sills, an eDrive button on the centre console and unique instrumentation.
The eDrive button allows the driver to tailor the system’s operation in three modes.
Auto eDrive is the default setting which provides optimum automatic interaction between the petrol and electric drive systems (and a top speed in pure electric of 90km/h).
Max eDrive is pure electric (with a top speed of 140km/h) but if the driver aggressively nails the accelerator - and the transmission kicks-down a cog or two - the petrol engine is activated to deliver maximum power.
Battery Control is the intelligent battery management setting which allows the driver to nominate a minimum charge level (between 30 and 100 per-cent) so, for example, no matter what your driving style from home, you can arrive at the city CBD with sufficient charge to ensure pure-electric driving (major European cities are heading towards restricting vehicles in their CBDs to zero-emissions).
Like other models in the all-new BMW 5 Series range, the 530e iPerformance will have the optional 10.25-inch display screen enabling touch-function or voice activation of various items such as navigation, telephone, entertainment and vehicle functions.
And it will be equipped with technologies common to other 5 Series models the new Evasion Aid, cross traffic warning, Lane Change Assistant and Active Lane Change Warning as well as options like Lane Keeping Assistant and Active Cruise Control (the latter with the ability to input speed limits with variances of plus-or-minus tolerance up to 15km/h).
As part of BMW Connected in Europe and North America, the all-new BMW 5 Series will be the first car to offer Microsoft Office 365 users a secure server connection as it comes with its own built-in Microsoft Exchange function.