a good thing or not is up for debate...
However, if you still like driving, it's probably worth discussing engines and the new chassis tech as well. At launch next year, seven variants will be offered: 520d, 520d EfficientDynamics, 530d, 530i, 540i, M550i and 530e iPerformance. For the first time all models will be offered with xDrive, plus the option of four-wheel steer with xDrive (where previously it was only possible on two-wheel drive cars). So yes, a four-wheel drive, four-wheel steer 520d is a possibility... Of most interest to those of a PH persuasion will be the larger petrols, even if very few will sell. The 540i is powered by a 340hp 2,998cc turbo straight six (like the 340i), with 332lb ft as well. It's capable of 5.1 seconds to 62mph but also emits just 150g/km. The M550i xDrive will hit 62mph in just four seconds thanks to 462hp and the 530i replaces the old 528i with a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder. Remember when diesel superminis returned 126g/km and 52.3mpg, not 250hp petrol saloons?
This G30 is fractionally larger than the outgoing F10, the wheelbase up 7mm to 2,975mm, the tracks wider and the overall length now 4,935mm (36mm more). Interestingly though BMW claims this 5 is up to 100kg less than the old car thanks to a construction that combines aluminium, high-tensile steels and magnesium. The official weight of a rear-wheel drive 520d auto with driver is 1,630kg. That new construction also means torsional rigidity is greater, while BMW also says unsprung masses have been reduced and the axle load ratio is "perfectly balanced" - it's still an old BMW in some regards!
As for dynamic options - good luck actually trying to spec a new 5 Series - the new electromechanical anti-roll bars are probably the most interesting. BMW promises "even greater precision and agility that makes for exciting nimble handling" with them fitted. The anti-roll bars are part of the Adaptive Drive option that also adds Dynamic Damper Control; their parameters are controlled, as expected by BMW's Driving Experience Control and familiar modes: Comfort, Sport and Eco Pro. A new 'Adaptive' mode is there if the dampers and a Professional nav upgrade are added.
BMW will of course offer variations on the basic 5 Series theme, with 21 colours, wheels from 17- to 20 inch and the usual SE, Sport and M Sport specifications. In these pictures the blue car is Luxury spec (SE in the UK) and M Sport is silver.
Inside - we're nearly there now, don't worry - the 7 Series influence is even more obvious. There are massaging seats, gesture control and a touchscreen just for starters. Usefully BMW says three child seats can fit across the rear bench too, so there's even less need to buy an MPV. Options to help you out include an Intelligent Voice Assistant, a new head-up display, ambient lighting and the air ionisation technology also seen in the 7. An optional B&W stereo can even adjust its sound setting for the selected music genre.
So it's luxury very much to the fore in the seventh generation 5 Series. If it can combine the opulence found in the new E-Class with driving dynamics on a par with the Jaguar XF then it will be quite some car. Expect prices and full spec details for the UK later this year ahead of a debut at the Detroit show.