BMW 5 Series update brings 523bhp M550i flagship to UK

Among the petrol models are the four-cylinder 181bhp 520i and the 248bhp 530i, as well as the six-cylinder 329bhp 540i. The 530i and 540i are available with standard rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive. Above them is the four wheel-drive M550i xDrive. Available in saloon form only, its turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine delivers 523bhp and 553lb ft torque, enabling a 0-62mph time of 4.0sec.

Three diesels are again available: the four-cylinder 188bhp 520d and two six-cylinder models, the 281bhp 530d and 335bhp 540d xDrive. The 520d and 530d come with standard rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive, while the 540d is available with four-wheel drive exclusively. Changes to the six-cylinder diesel engine – including the adoption of two-stage turbocharging and new common-rail piezo injectors that operate at up to 2700bar – bring gains of 20bhp and 22lb ft to the 530d and of 20bhp and 15lb ft to the 540d.

The petrol-electric plug-in hybrid 530e, which comes with standard rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive, has been updated with the latest evolution of BMW’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. However, it continues to deliver the same nominal combined system output of 248bhp and 310lb ft as before, with 288bhp and the same 310lb ft available for 10sec via a so-called XtraBoost function. On a full charge, it has a WLTP-certified electric-only range of up 42 miles.

New to the family is the four wheel-drive 545e xDrive plug-in hybrid, which uses the same 248bhp turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line-six-cylinder petrol engine and 107bhp electric motor as the larger 745e. Together, these provide a system output of 389bhp and 442lb ft, giving the 545e a 0-62mph time of 4.7sec and a governed 155mph top speed. The plug-in hybrid’s combined WLTP fuel economy is between 117.7mpg and 134.5mpg, with CO2 emissions of 49-54g/km. With a lithium ion battery mounted within the floor of the boot, the 545e achieves an electric-only range of up to 35 miles at speeds of up to 87mph, according to BMW.

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As before, all drivetrains are mated to a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox, with no manual option offered.

Although the new M550i will head the range for now, a reworked M5 will be unveiled later this year. It’s set to sire a new M5 CS model with revised aerodynamics, including a rear wing similar to that seen on the M2 CS, M3 CS and M4 CS, plus lightweight carbonfibre-reinforced plastic components. Nothing is confirmed just yet but the future range-topping M5 model is rumoured to feature a newly developed V8 engine with even more firepower than the 616bhp twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 used by today’s M5 Competition.



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