BMW's 5 Series Plug-In Hybrid Debuts: A Best of Both Worlds Solution
The eighth generation of the BMW 5 Series has sparked a huge uproar due to its bold and distinctive design cues, yet if you can look past all that, you will discover that there's more to it than just controversial styling.
Call it the 8th wonder if you want, but it brings dynamic ability, a wealth of digital innovations, and for the first time, a fully electric model with a fully vegan interior that doesn’t use any animal-derived materials.
When it made its debut earlier this year, BMW SA confirmed that it will initially offer the 520d and the i5 M60 xDrive variants, which will be supplemented by two plug-in hybrid versions earmarked to join the range in early 2024.
That said, BMW has now released information regarding the 5 Series plug-in hybrids that are available in two guises: the 530e and 550e xDrive models.
The 530e makes use of a 2.0-litre in-line 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with an integrated electric motor, and together, the system pumps out 220kW and 450Nm. That's enough to propel the saloon from 0-100km/h in 6.3 seconds before stopping at 230km/h or 140km/h in fully electric mode.
The 550e xDrive employs a 3.0-litre in-line 6-cylinder petrol powerhouse and the latest eDrive technology for plug-in hybrid BMW cars, cranking out 360kW and 700Nm of torque that's sent to all-fours via the xDrive system. On the performance side, the 550e sprints from 0-1-00km/h in 4.3 seconds en route to a top speed of 250km/h or 140km/h when in EV mode.
In EV mode, BMW says both variants can travel up to 103km and 90km, respectively, between charges, courtesy of a battery pack with a usable energy content of up to 19.4kWh. The pack can be fully recharged in roughly 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Both models feature an 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission as standard.
Visually, the duo looks similar to their counterparts but adds 19-inch light alloy wheels and BMW IconicSounds Electric, developed by film music composer Hans Zimmer, while the 550e is fitted as standard with Adaptive Chassis Professional and Integral Active Steering for better manoeuvrability.
When they finally launch in early 2024, the plug-in hybrid models will join the fully-electric i5 M60 xDrive, which comes with a range of up to 516km. The addition of the plug-in hybrid variants will offer customers the best of both worlds by running on petrol and electricity and eliminate the range anxiety concerns that's still associated with full EV models.