Friday, November 27, 2009

New BMW 5 Series Has Hints of the 7 Series

BMW 5 Series. The new BMW 5 Series has grown a few inches and will weigh more than the outgoing model.

What does the new BMW 5 Series have to do with a new Rolls-Royce Ghost? Each is being built on a modified BMW 7-Series chassis.

BMW unveiled the new 5 Series – the sixth generation of the midrange German luxury car – this week in Munich. The unveiling, at the stadium where Munich hopes to host the 2018 Olympic Games, was attended in person by BMW executives and employees, and broadcast on television in Europe.

But BMW aficionados elsewhere in the world were rather curiously shortchanged. The company says it is not planning on introducing the 5 Series lineup at any of the upcoming auto shows – a departure from tradition.

The changes to the vehicle include styling touches meant to make the 5 Series look, feel and drive more like the pricier 7 Series. To that end, the 5 Series has grown a few inches in most directions. And it weighs in at several hundred pounds heavier than the equivalent outgoing models. Despite a 7 Series lookalike grille treatment, the new 5 bears a lot of resemblance to the smaller 3 Series lineup, especially in profile.

BMW 5 Series. The 5 Series is likely to come with four engine options, including a 6-cylinder turbo-diesel.

The new chassis has a double-wishbone front suspension with cast-aluminum control arms, as well as BMW’s Integral-V multilink rear suspension.

In Europe, the 5-Series range will include five different sedans and seven different powertrain choices — one V-8, three in-line 6s, two in-line 6 diesels and one in-line 4 diesel. The United States is likely to get a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 with 407 horsepower, single-turbo 3-liter in-line 6 (306 horsepower), a 3-liter in-line 6 (258 horsepower) and a turbocharged 3-liter in-line 6 diesel (245 horsepower).

A new 8-speed automatic transmission will be offered for the first time.

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