The combination of a new weight-saving aluminium chassis and bodywork structures, and existing super-efficient and powerful engines produces market-leading performance and economy figures in the new 5 Series. The front section of the car and all suspension parts are now aluminium and combine with either BMW’s silken-smooth bi-VANOS petrol engines or the renowned and recently uprated 3.0-litre second-generation common-rail diesel. This combination produces top speeds, 0 to 62 mph figures and fuel consumption rates that outshine all competitors. New six speed manual gearboxes in 3.0-litre petrol and diesel models also contribute to the car’s dynamism.
The 520i, 530i and 530d will be joined in the range in October by the 2.5-litre, 525i (192 bhp/245 Nm) and the V8, 4.4-litre, 545i offering 333 bhp and 450 Nm of torque.Technology Driven
Technological advances enhance the impressive performance figures ensuring that the new 5 Series offers levels of handling, agility and comfort never before experienced in this class.Active Steering - AFS (optional)
Rather than developing pure drive-by-wire systems that can isolate the driver from the road, BMW has taken the initiative in developing AFS that maintains a mechanical link between the front wheels and the steering wheel, and retains an ‘authentic’ steering feel for the driver.
Active Steering varies the steering transmission ratio electronically in direct relation to the style and speed of driving and road conditions. Under normal road conditions at low and medium speeds, the steering becomes more direct, requiring less steering effort of the driver (i.e. turns of the steering wheel), increasing the car’s agility in, say, city traffic or when parking. At high speeds the steering becomes less direct offering improved directional stability. When cornering at high speeds, or when undertaking sudden movements, the steering stiffens up by monitoring increases in the yaw rate.
The system is networked to the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) electronic driver aid and reduces DSC interventions, thereby offering more control to the driver and increased comfort for the passengers.Dynamic Drive (optional)
Dynamic Drive active suspension filters out bumps and suppresses virtually all body roll on cornering through the presence of two active anti-roll bars physically integrated into the front and rear axles. This further enhances agility and stability. Up to 80 per cent of a car’s normal body roll in sharp bends is removed by Dynamic Drive, which also has active safety implications since directional stability is enhanced when taking emergency evasive actions.Active Cruise Control (optional from 2004)
First introduced on the new 7 Series, Active Cruise Control is a radar-based system that automatically controls the distance to the car in front. The BMW driver selects a comfortable distance he/she wishes to cruise behind other vehicles and the system automatically cuts power if that distance is infringed. Cruise control is still engaged, however, and as soon as the selected distance is available again, the car automatically speeds up to the desired cruising speed.
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