BMW isn’t done with its new 5 Series line-up just yet. Having announced a comprehensive range of mild-hybrid combustion models and the all-electric i5 for the G60 generation earlier this year, the German car giant has now confirmed two PHEV variants will be joining the range – including the return of the mighty 550.
Well, sort of. The previous generation’s range-topper, sitting just below the fully-fat M5 Competition, was the brawny M550i, a car that it was fairly easy to like - even if the Alpina B5 was ultimately better. Predictably, the new model drops a couple of cylinders and gains an electric motor and battery pack to become the 550e xDrive. The new combustion-powered, non-M flagship combines a turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol straight-six with a 197hp electric motor (the latter integrated into the eight-speed automatic gearbox) for a combined output of 489hp and 516lb ft of torque. BMW says that’s enough to fire you to 62mph from a standstill in 4.3 seconds, with top speed is electronically capped at 155mph. No surprises there.
As for the battery, the 550e is equipped with a 19.4kWh lithium-ion pack (up from 12.0kWh on the previous-gen PHEVs), which BMW suggests is good for an all-electric range of up to 56 miles. Go for the more cost-effective 530e and that rises to 62 miles, though performance naturally takes a hit. It’s powered by a 2.0-litre four-pot turbo that, again, is paired up with an electric motor for a total system output of 299hp and 332lb ft. It’s two seconds slower to 62mph than the 550e, and a 143mph top speed is all it can muster. Both max out at 87mph if you keep them in EV mode.
BMW has also made strides with the battery integration on its new PHEVs. Previous plug-in models sacrificed boot space for electric running and better fuel economy, but that’s no longer an issue on the new model. The battery is now nestled within the underbody of the car, meaning the PHEVs now offer the same 520-litre boot space as the combustion models. Doesn’t make them any cheaper, mind. Orders are open now, with prices starting at £59,455 for the 530e and £76,605 for the 550e xDrive.
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