8th wonder

For now, the new 5 is available with two engine variants - a 204bhp 2.5-litre 523i and the range topping turbocharged 535i. Both engines are BMW's famed straight-six units.

Underneath that long and bulging bonnet in the 535i is a new turbocharged 3-litre straight-six shared with the 5 Series GT and facelifted 335i coupe and convertible. Confusingly, BMW has dubbed the new motor TwinPower Turbo, as seen on the engine cover in reference to the use of a single twin scroll turbocharger instead of a pair of turbines in the 335i saloon. To confuse things even further, the force aspirated straight-six makes 306bhp and 400Nm, the same numbers as the twin turbocharged unit.

With a quoted 0-100km/h time of 6.5 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h, the 535i is pretty quick for a 1.8 tonne saloon. The 535i is quicker off the line than its closest Merc rival, the 272bhp E350 but a tad slower than the stonking 290bhp Audi A6 3.0 TFSI quattro.

On the road, the motor's linear power delivery and lag free nature makes it feels like a normally aspirated motor. With its maximum torque available from just 1200rpm, the motor pulls strongly from really low speeds. There's always sufficient performance on tap whenever you need it at any speed.

BMW's straight-six units are well known for their silky smooth nature but the 535i's unit can somehow sound a bit gruff when worked hard. Moreover, there's an almost diesel like clatter at idling but there's still that characteristic in-line 6 snarl at higher revs.

BMW EfficientDynamics technologies are featured such as Brake Energy Regeneration and on- demand operation of ancillary units including a detachable a/c compressor.

Hooked up to the engine is a brand new eight-speed automatic gearbox. BMW's first eight-speeder is brilliantly good and I'm not exaggerating here. The gearbox is lightning fast with its shifts, almost instantaneous to the point that it feels faster, if not as fast as a twin clutch box. Its shift points are also spot on as the box upshifts when you expect it to and goes to a lower gear when you demand it to. Unlike Mercedes' 7G-Tronic box, it doesn't hunt for gears but instead is quite intuitive in choosing the right gear for the right conditions.

A ‘+/-‘ mode is standard and the steering mounted paddles are of a new design - no more push either sides to shift down, pull either to select a higher gear. It now follows the same convention as in Audis and VWs and is more intuitive to use.

 


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Engine

Engine Capacity 2979cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 6
Compression Ratio 10.2:1
Bore x Stroke (89.6 x 84)mm
Power 306bhp @ 5800rpm
Torque 400Nm @ 1200rpm
Power to Weight 173.9 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 6.1s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 11.8 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 8 -speed Auto Tiptronic
Drive Type FR

Measurements

Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4899 x 1860 x 1464) mm
Wheelbase 2968 mm
Kerb Weight 1760 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 70 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs