With a ten-year plan for sustainability, the BMW Group is underscoring its commitment to the goals of the Paris climate agreement, the focus being on the expansion of electric mobility. More than 500,000 electrified vehicles were sold by the end of 2019 and this figure will most likely rise to over 1 million by the end of 2021.
BMW updated the 5 Series, early this year and now they have introduced yet top model in the range of plug-in hybrids for the new BMW 5 Series featuring a straight six-cylinder petrol engine and four-wheel drive for a combination of maximum energy efficiency and dynamic performance.
The new BMW 545e xDrive Sedan features a synchronous electric motor delivering a maximum power output of 109 hp, which is combined with an efficient straight six-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology and 286 hp, together generating an overall system output of 394 hp. Power is distributed as required to all four wheels via an 8-speed Steptronic transmission and BMW xDrive four-wheel drive. Maximum system torque is 600 Nm and top speed is reached at 250 km/h, whilst a speed of 140 km/h is possible in purely electric operation. From a standstill, the new BMW 545e xDrive accelerates to a speed of 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds. That is close to sports car territory. The latest plug-in hybrid model of the BMW 5 Series is fitted with a 400V lithium-ion battery which is positioned under the rear seat to save space. With a luggage volume of 410 litres, the transport capacity of the BMW 545e xDrive is only slightly smaller than of those model variants which are fitted with a conventional engine.
There are new driving modes with this 545e, The HYBRID mode is the default setting, which ensures a balanced set-up and an intelligent interaction between combustion engine and electric motor. It is also possible to select ELECTRIC mode as the standard setting via the iDrive menu. In HYBRID mode, the electric motor is predominantly used. The combustion engine only kicks in at higher speeds or under intensive load conditions. Since the system is linked to the navigation system, the interaction between combustion engine and electric motor can be adapted more precisely to the route profile, topography, and other driving situations in an anticipatory manner. By pressing the HYBRID button twice, an efficiency-optimised version of this operating mode (HYBRID ECO PRO) is activated.
The coasting function on the overrun, among other things, contributes to a further reduction in consumption. The navigation and sensor data-supported control system also optimises the effectiveness of braking energy recovery. When approaching a junction or a vehicle driving ahead, for example, infinitely adaptive recuperation can be put to particularly intensive use for the purpose of deceleration.
In SPORT mode, the electric motor supports the straight six-cylinder petrol engine when the overall system output of 290 kW/394 hp is fully needed. The set-up is designed for dynamic performance, and the gearshift program is sporty. The ELECTRIC mode, on the other hand, enables locally purely emission-free driving up to 57 kilometres* and up to 140 km/h.
Another new feature worthy of mentioning must be the augmented sounds for driving pleasure. BMW & celebrated composer, Hans Zimmer, have created the new “ready to drive sound” and the sound is designed to trigger joyful anticipation of the electric drive when the driver enters the vehicle and presses the Start/Stop button. A distinctive sound created especially for electrified BMW models is used for the purpose of acoustic pedestrian protection, emitted via a speaker system. The sound design in the low speed range of up to 30 km/h radiates a vibrant acoustic presence, though without impairing the acoustic comfort of vehicle occupants.
The BMW 5 Series is one of the key products in the BMW portfolio. With almost 50,000 units, BMW 5 Series plug-in hybrid models were the most successful electrified models in the BMW Group’s portfolio worldwide in 2019. BMW India is set to replace the current 5 Series with the updated one, remains to be seen if hybrid variants would be coming to India this time around.