Autopolis

The cars we loved.

2011 BMW 5 Series


2011 BMW 5-series

2011 BMW 5-series

The 5 Series is BMW’s mid-sized executive car and as such usually represents the sum of BMW ‘s safest styling trends. With the smaller 3 Series below and larger 7 above, the 5 was always in the middle literally, with a design and engine choice lineup that were the bridge between the compact and full-sized cars. When new leadership at BMW produced a radical design direction (via Chris Bangel), the fifth generation 5 Series was first to get a controversial makeover treatment in 2003. Thousands of cars and more than a few imitators later, a new sixth generation 5 Series (F10/11) will come to market in 2011. On sale in Europe since 2009 as a 10 model, the new car is a departure from BMW’s long use of the letter E to designate generations of 5 Series.

 
It also marks the return to a more traditional 5 Series design strategy.
Unlike the trailblazing E60, BMW has reverted to a more conservative look, much like that of the 3 Series. In fact, it’s looking like BMW might return to the formula that worked so well during the 80’s and 90’s of designing what almost looks  like the same car at different sizes. The 5 looks much like the 3 series from the B pillar on. 

The long hood ends bluntly much like the new 7 Series cars, it’s only real distinctive design trait. In the 3 Series it’s sloped somewhat and looks more graceful. Overall, the F10/11 is a more attractive design, if not as distinctive car it replaces. The 5 Series is not completely without risks. A new variation called the ‘Gran Turismo’ features a sporty fast back coupe design. A growing trend in the luxury car market, the fast back sedan concept features SUV like versatility with sedan handling. BMW’s entry will compete with more established Audi and Mercedes products. 
 
Looks aside, its under the hood is where BMW’s get most of their charm. The 2011 5 Series will use one 8-cylinder and three 6-cylinder gasoline engines, as well as two 6-cylinder diesels. In Europe there will even be a 4-cylinder turbo diesel with common-rail direct injection. It’s likely that there will only be two turbo engines available in the American market at initial launch: a 6 and 8-cylinder petro with 300 hp in the 535i and 400 hp in the 540i respectively. Strangely enough, BMW labels the 6 as a “twinpower turbo”, although it is clearly a single turbo unit.
 
Enthusiasts are more likely to opt for the 4.5 l twin turbo V8 with its 400 hp. There will be either a 6 speed manual ZF or 8 speed automatic transmission available.  There has been no word on when a new M5 will become available in North America. The M5 has been called the most perfectly ballanced driver centered BMW. It will likely maintain that label assuming that its performance will be greter than the GT model. 

2011 BMW 5 Series interior

2011 BMW 5 Series interior

The 5 Series will be rear wheel drive, with the option of all-wheel drive with a xi designation in some 6-cylinder models. In 2009 a 528xi and 535xi were available in Europe. The suspension has been improved and now is multi link all around as opposed to last years front struts. The interior features a console that is angled more to the driver, as in 5 Series cars from before the E60.

Like any premium BMW, the 5 Series comes with a laundry list of options and gadgets like auto cruise, blind spot monitoring, auto parell parking and has a studio’s worth of cameras to provide the driver a 360 view of their surroundings. Sales of the last car were good, despite all the controversy about its design. The new car with its solid (if not derivative) good looks is sure to sell even better and promises to return some of the driver centered orientation lost in the last car. 

2011 BMW 5-series

2011 BMW 5-series

2011 BMW 5-series Gran-Turismo

2011 BMW 5-series Gran-Turismo

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This entry was posted on July 5, 2010 by in 10's Cars, BMW and tagged , , , .
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