BMW 5 Series: How green is the new luxury sedan?


How green is the new BMW 5 Series?

BMW 5 Series: How green is the new luxury sedan?-Germany

The new BMW 5 Series will be launched in Germany in February 2017

Source: Stefan Anker

At first glance, the seventh generation of the luxury class sedan looks like a rolling “business as usual”. Chief Technology Officer Klaus Frohlich sees the car as evidence of sustainable development.

D.hat wouldn’t have existed before: A BMW board member invites the Greens boss, and he’s also coming. Cem Ozdemir makes a few jokes about his own party, which Daimler boss Zetsche first invited and then booed a few weeks ago. The guests of the BMW annual conference in Berlin (a more social than economic event) enjoy his good mood and eloquence. Ozdemir has more laughs than before Klaus Frohlich, BMW’s Board Member for Development.

However, this is not because Frohlich was a rigid engineer, on the contrary. He speaks understandably and to the point, only with the technical abbreviations “Peheff” and “Beff” he overwhelms most of his listeners. The strange words are pronounced abbreviations, namely PHEV and BEV, and they stand for plug-in hybrid cars and electric cars. But you have to know that, it is not explained.

At Frohlich there is a lot of talk of “Peheff” and “Beff” because BMW has been moving towards alternative drives for so long. "In 2007 we took on the challenges we had forecast for reducing CO2, sustainable drives and electromobility and focused on their solution," says Frohlich’s speech manuscript, and the evening laps by in pleasant environmental friendliness.

BMW 5 Series is also coming onto the market as a plug-in hybrid

Cut. A few days earlier, the “world” was sitting in the first test car in the new 5 series. 540i and 530d are available (BMW tradition: no basic models at press presentations), they are 340 and 265 hp. The petrol version costs 57,700 euros, the diesel version 56,900.

BMW 5 Series: How green is the new luxury sedan?-BMW

Starting at a base price of 45,200 euros, you get a 520d, whose two-liter diesel makes 190 hp

Source: BMW

But both are a good 75,000 euros with all the extras that are usually built into test cars: traffic jam assistant, lane departure warning, reversing camera, infotainment system with touch controls and freely configurable tile elements. The new 5 Series is a rolling career move, an aesthetically designed and high-quality piece of business class for everyday use, in short: You could hardly have developed a better car today.

But what about tomorrow?

“With the PHEV, we are also starting the electric future in the 5 series,” says Klaus Frohlich in an interview with “Welt”. Shortly after the start of sales in February 2017, the 5 Series will also be launched as a plug-in hybrid.

“In addition, we will be able to update it faster over the life cycle – new assistance systems, new batteries, new electric motors.” All of this can now come into the car as soon as it is developed – without having to wait for the next generation or even the facelift. "This is now possible with the vehicle architecture."

The plug-in hybrid technology will soon be obsolete again?

As becomes clear in a personal conversation, but also in his lecture in Berlin, Frohlich relies on the gradual transition of technology. The decision of the Greens to ban new registrations of cars with internal combustion engines from 2030, annoys him.

He doesn’t say that directly, but you can tell if you ask him about it. The thoroughbred engineer Klaus Frohlich sometimes despairs of the many laypeople around him – especially when they also have something to say.

BMW 5 Series: How green is the new luxury sedan?-Germany

The new 5 Series masters fast corners with amazing ease

Source: Stefan Anker

In the end, Ozdemir will admit that the timing of the phase-out of petrol and diesel is negotiable, but that it will not work without a set limit. Happy is left uncommented because of a lack of time and out of politeness towards the guest, but he actually wants politicians to pay more attention to the wishes of car customers and the complexity of technical developments.

According to the plans of the Greens (2030 comes faster than you think), plug-in hybrid technology would soon be obsolete again because the internal combustion engine is an essential part of it. At the moment it seems that plug-in technology can soon be left behind without political pressure, but the hype about pure electric cars triggered by Tesla The BMW chief developer takes a rather critical view of the long range. "We will not ruin the car with 800 kilograms of electricity storage," says Frohlich, "the strategy is not effective."

"Storage is the biggest cost driver in electric cars"

The competition obviously sees it differently, and everyone from Opel to VW to Jaguar, Audi, Mercedes and Porsche is talking about future electric models with a range of 500 kilometers – only BMW not. Frohlich calls this the "announcement competition", but at the same time says: "Assume that we can do that too."

Frohlich mentions the advances in cell chemistry, which will enable batteries in the future that “do not break the mold”. But they remain expensive. “Storage is the number one cost driver in electric cars. That is why there will still be urban concepts with a range of 200 kilometers in 2020. People should simply have a choice. "

BMW 5 Series: How green is the new luxury sedan?-BMW

Very dignified: the cockpit of the new BMW 5 Series is on a luxury class level

Source: Stefan Anker

With the i3, which appeared in 2013, BMW relied on its own electric car at an early stage, the standard range of which has now increased from 200 to 300 kilometers – but both variants are on offer because of the choice. There are rumors that the car will have a range of 450 kilometers from 2018, but that alone doesn’t make the difference for Klaus Frohlich. “Many electric motors are dependent on rare earths,” says the board of directors, “these are rare and very expensive raw materials. Thanks to our expertise, we will be able to develop and build electric motors with a high degree of efficiency and without these rare earths in the future. "

The 530d xDrive should be able to drive with five liters

So eco-friendly, wherever you look – not just because the Ober-Green Ozdemir is a guest. BMW has also continued to push the new 5 Series in terms of (standard) consumption. The 540i, for example, now has ten percent more power than the previous model, but consumes eleven percent less – the data sheet shows the fabulous value of 6.5 liters per 100 kilometers.

BMW 5 Series: How green is the new luxury sedan?-hybrid drive

A BMW 540i no longer has a displacement of four liters, as the model name suggests. In the current model, a three-liter in-line six-cylinder with twin turbo works

Source: Stefan Anker

But it gets even better: The all-wheel drive 530d xDrive should be able to drive with five liters (after a – admittedly – quite committed country road trip, the on-board computer showed 8.0 l / 100 km). 4.1 liters are available for the 190 hp 520d, and the further optimized 520d Efficient Dynamics Edition is even specified with just 3.9 liters per 100 kilometers.

If you read these dream values, you would want a measurement cycle that could depict what is happening on the road more realistically. Such a new standard has also been announced for 2017, it will then be called WLTP instead of NEDC, but Klaus Frohlich is already swelling the ridge again. Not because WLTP results in higher values, that applies to everyone. But because it has still not been clarified whether, as before, NEDC figures are decisive for achieving the CO2 targets, or whether the higher values ​​from the WLTP suddenly apply.

Ultimately, it’s about whether you can change the rules during the game – and politics has not yet answered this simple question.

BMW 5 Series: How green is the new luxury sedan?-Germany

The BMW 5 Series has grown in length to 4.94 meters

Source: Stefan Anker

2 thoughts on “BMW 5 Series: How green is the new luxury sedan?”

  1. BMW builds very good cars. Even in the previous version, the 530d was an economical car, best suited for long-distance traffic. With the predecessor of the current 530d, I definitely reached 5 l / 100km, of course only if you drive sensibly, i.e. not significantly over 200km.
    In general, an electric car is currently more for the city, the short distance that today with a second car would be an e_Auto ideal. The long haul will remain the domain of internal combustion engines for a long time to come, at least if you look at it sensibly and decide.

  2. I also drive a 530d, but the consumption you mentioned can only be achieved with cruise control at 120km / h on the autobahn.
    Normally I get 6.5 to 9.5L / 100km averaged over the whole tank, depending on driving style and mood, including city, country and motorway traffic, which is perfectly fine in view of around 260PS.


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