- BMW 5 Series PHEV is the most successful electrified model
- Top-spec 545e makes 392bhp/600Nm
BMW introduced the refreshed 5 Series in May and promptly introduced its high-performance M5 derivative too. However, the revised electrified line-up arrives now with no less than five plug-in hybrid variants in the portfolio.
With an increase from two to five PHEV models, the updated line-up will make their market debut by November 2020. Kicking off the eDrive powertrain is the 530e with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. It will be joined by the xDrive all-wheel-drive and Touring (estate) version in November 2020. Interestingly, the power and performance figures of the 530e are yet to be divulged by the Bavarian carmaker.
What we know, however, is the details of the top-of-the-range 545e xDrive derivative. Under the hood is the straight-six petrol engine making 286bhp paired to electric motors for a combined output of 392bhp and 600Nm. Power is sent to all-four-wheels through an eight-speed Steptronic automatic. This plug-in hybrid sedan is limited to a top speed of 250kmph, but it can do 140kmph on pure electric mode. And can clock 0-100kmph in supercar-like 4.7 seconds.
Additionally, the 545e is capable of going 54-57 kilometres in the electric mode, whereas the average fuel consumption is claimed at 2.4–2.1 litres/100 km which translates to 41-47kmpl. The sedan is fitted with a 400V lithium-ion battery pack under the rear seat. So it does eat into the boot space. However, at 410litres, the 545e still offers a large cargo area by any standards.
There are four driving modes available for the driver – Hybrid, Hybrid Eco Pro, Sport, and Electric – via the iDrive menu. In Hybrid mode, the electric motor is predominantly used. By pressing the Hybrid button twice, an efficiency-optimised Hybrid Eco Pro is activated. In this mode, the coasting function on the overrun contributes to a further reduction in fuel consumption while also optimising brake energy recovery. In Sport mode, the electric motor supports the engine when the complete system output is needed. Even the gearshift program is sporty in this mode. Lastly, the Electric mode enables locally purely emission-free driving.
Also, the new ‘ready to drive’ sound produced by the 545e xDrive is composed by Hans Zimmer and lends the electrified 5 Series a distinct soundtrack. This soundtrack – emitted from the vehicle’s speakers – is essential for both the driver and pedestrian safety.