New BMW 5 Series debuts with revived styling, new hybrid options

The German automaker has unveiled the 2021 BMW 5 Series sedan with an updated design and new electrified powertrains including a mild-hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. The mid-cycle upgrade makes the midsize sedan more capable now to compete against the likes of new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6, and Genesis G80. 

If you were hoping for revolutionary changes in the new 5 Series, you will probably be disappointed. However, evolutionary changes are enough to attract new customers to the brand. Seeing the exterior images of the 2021 BMW 5 Series, the most prominent change is smoother and more aligned LED running lights. They definitely have similarities to the new 3 Series. The design team’s efforts to enlarge the kidney grille are now more distinct. The rear now has L-shaped signature inlays to correspond to the headlights.

When you first see the 2020 BMW 5 Series, you might not notice much of an interior change. However, it does come with some tech enhancements, including BMW’s new iDrive 7 infotainment system. It boasts a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, matched by an equal-sized center display. Moreover, the luxury sedan features standard BMW navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto compatibility.

The 2021 BMW 5 Series would be available in four powertrains comprising the 530i, 530e plug-in, 540i, and M550i. The biggest highlight in the powertrains is a modern 48-volt mild-hybrid system available for the V6 540i variant. Rated at 335 horsepower, it is faster on its toes owing to the innovative electric-assist system.

The updated 530e plug-in hybrid is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder and electric drive unit. The powertrain generates 288 horsepower (215 kW) and an ample 310 pound-feet (420 newton-meters) of torque. This unit creates 40 horsepower (29 kW) more than the outgoing 530e.

The most powerful twin-turbocharged 4.4L V8 M550i xDrive can churn out a mighty 523 hp (390 kW) and 723 Nm of torque. This huge power enables the car to hit 96 km/h (60 mph) in only 3.6 seconds and maxes out at 250 km/h (155 mph) sporting performance tires.

The more power-hungry dudes can keep an eye out for the updated range-topping M5 sedan, which will launch at a later stage.  

The 2021 BMW 5 Series is expected to hit the dealerships in South Africa between October and December. South Africans will have access to the 520d, 530i and the M550i xDrive, with the BMW M5 Competition coming later.

However, the automaker has opened its order books for American customers. BMW is asking $54,200 for the base 530i, which is $300 more than the outgoing model. The 530e hybrid and the 540i are available for $57,200 (R962,492) and $61,750 (R1,039,054), respectively. Buyers who would opt for xDrive all-wheel drive have to dish out an extra $2,300 (R38,700). Lastly, the powerful and quicker M550i (which comes with standard all-wheel-drive) costs $76,800 (R1,292,298). Prices correct at time of publication.

Are you passionate about cars? If you love keeping up with South Africa’s motoring scene, keep an eye on our blog. Every month we review at least two of the latest cars to hit SA’s roads.


Please note the imagery supplied in this blog was taken off

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