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PressClub Canada · Article.

The new 2021 BMW 5 Series Sedan

• Update to the 7th Generation of BMW’s 5 Series Sedan. • New 48V mild hybrid system for the 540i xDrive Sedan. • July production. First deliveries in August 2020. • Pricing and options information to be comfirmed in the coming weeks

5 Series

Richmond Hill, ON.  BMW Canada is pleased to announce the updated, 2021 7th generation         5 Series Sedan.  With improvements in exterior and interior design, aerodynamics and technology, plus the introduction of a new 48v mild hybrid system, this generation of 5 Series continues to deliver cutting-edge technology and performance into the sixth decade of 5 Series production.

The 2021 BMW 5 Series lineup includes the:

  • 248 hp 530i xDrive Sedan
  • 288 hp 530e xDrive PHEV Sedan
  • 335 hp 540i xDrive Sedan
  • 523 hp M550i xDrive Sedan


First introduced in 1972, the BMW 5 Series has continuously built its reputation as the executive sport sedan for discerning buyers by delivering performance, modern design, comfort and technology expected from a BMW.


New exterior design.


The exterior of the BMW 5 Series sports a cleaner surface design. The most striking feature is the new BMW Kidney Grille design with resculpted headlamps. The new grille is taller and wider, reaching further down into the front bumper cover and is surrounded by a one piece grille element. The vertical grille slats are more pronounced and extend further into the air flow.


While most exterior and interior dimensions remain unchanged, the length grows by 30 mm to offer a more sweeping profile. The aerodynamics of the new 5 Series Sedans benefit from the carefully drawn lines, with the 530i xDrive Sedan achieving a Cx as low as 0.27.

The new standard Adaptive LED headlights are slimmer in profile and feature two L–shaped daytime driving light elements on each side. These elements also perform the function of turn signals.

The rear of the 5 Series is accentuated by new, standard trapezoidal tailpipe finishers integrated into the lower bumper area. New rear L-shaped taillights feature black edging and three-dimensional lenses.

The M Sport Package benefits from redesigned front and rear bumpers, larger front air intakes with mesh inserts and a re-sculptured rear diffuser panel.

The M550i xDrive Sedan includes the new Aerodynamic kit from the M Sport Package and enhances functionality and appearance further with the addition of a rear trunk lid spoiler and with a Cerium Grey finish to the side mirror caps, BMW Kidney Grille, inlays in the front air intakes and Air Breathers and grille surround, and model lettering. The dual trapezoidal exhaust finishers are black chrome while window surrounds are in high-gloss black.


Interior Design and Equipment

The interior of the 2021 5 Series Sedan is highlighted by the standard Live Cockpit Professional with iDrive 7, a 12.3” digital instrument display and a 12.3” digital central touchscreen control display (up from previous 10.25”). Standard Navigation, Apple CarPlay Compatibility and Android Auto Compatibility are included. The buttons on the center console are now finished in a high-gloss black.

Dakota Leather is standard on all 5 Series models, as is the SensaTec Dashboard. Nappa Leather is an option on all models, while BMW Individual Merino Leather can be specified on the 540i xDrive and M550i xDrive Sedans.

All models feature standard Sport seats and a 40:20:40 split folding rear seat.


48V mild hybrid technology for six-cylinder engine models.


A new mild hybrid system with a 48V starter-generator offers enhanced performance, better fuel economy and improved driving comfort in the six-cylinder BMW 5 Series.


A powerful 48V starter-generator and a second battery greatly increases the ways in which Brake Energy Regeneration can be utilized. When the driver releases the accelerator, the generator transforms the kinetic energy into electricity to be stored in the 48V battery. Energy recuperation benefits even more when the Driving Experience Control switch is set to SPORT mode. The additional deceleration generated over and above the engine braking effect is also harnessed when the brakes are applied. A specially designed braking system previously found in BMW’s plug-in-hybrid models enables the combination of electrical and mechanical deceleration to be deployed as required and with maximum efficiency at all times.

The recuperated energy accumulating in the 48V battery is supplied to the 12V electrical system and powers the lights, steering, power windows, ventilation, audio system and seat heating. In addition, the stored energy can be used to provide additional drive power when it is fed back to the 48V starter-generator.

The starter-generator then acts likes an electric drive unit that assists the engine, allowing it to operate within a more efficient range as frequently as possible and ensuring there are fewer peaks in fuel consumption. When the car is accelerating, the 48V starter-generator is able to offer the driver an electric boost effect that can instantly put an extra 11 hp on tap for more dynamic power delivery. The result is a sharper response off the line and quicker bursts of speed when accelerating.

A special feature of the mild hybrid system is the ability to charge the 48V battery from the generator while driving at a constant speed. This method of generating electricity by raising the engine’s load point is only employed when the battery charge is low and during phases when it does not have a detrimental effect on engine efficiency.


The 48V starter-generator has the additional benefit of allowing the engine to be switched off and started again very swiftly with less vibration. The result is improved comfort when the Auto Start Stop and coasting functions are in use. When the driver brakes for a stop, the engine can be switched off as soon as the car’s speed drops below km/h. And if the coasting function is activated, the engine is also completely shut off rather than just being decoupled from the drivetrain. This function is now operational at speeds between 25 – 160 km/h and, on the new BMW 5 Series, it is available not just in ECO Pro mode but also COMFORT mode.


New, more powerful plug-in-hybrid drivetrain

The 2021 BMW 530e xDrive Sedans receive enhanced performance from the latest generation of eDrive technology. A 180 hp 2.0-liter gasoline engine is complemented by a 111 hp electric drive unit, integrated into the 8-speed Steptronic transmission. When the Driving Control switch and transmission are set to SPORT, a new XtraBoost feature offers an additional 40 hp for up to 10 seconds when the throttle is depressed to the kickdown position. The combined power and torque of the new 530e xDrive Sedans is 288 hp and 310 ft-lbs of torque, an increase of 40 hp over previous 530e models.

A high-voltage 34 Ah / 12 kWh gross (9.09 kWh net) lithium-ion battery module provides the storage capacity for electric-only and performance oriented driving.


The 530e xDerive Sedan also features Acoustic Protection for Pedestrians, which uses an exterior speaker system to generate an unmistakable sound created specifically for electrified BMWs operating in electric-only mode at speeds up to 30 km/h.

With the addition of XtraBoost functionality, the 530e xDrive Sedan can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 210 km/h when equipped with all-season tires and 235 km/h  when equipped with performance tires.


BMW TwinPower Turbocharged engines

All BMW four, six, and eight-cylinder engines feature BMW’s latest TwinPower turbocharging technology which incorporates a single, twin-scroll turbocharger on the 530i xDrive and 530e xDrive four-cylinder models, and 540i XDrive six-cylinder models and two, twin-scroll turbochargers on the V8 M550i xDrive Sedan.

All engines feature High Precision fuel injection operating at 350 bar (5,076 psi), VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing and double-VANOS variable camshaft timing.

The 2021 BMW 530i xDrive Sedan is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo variant of BMW’s modular engine family. This engine produces 248 hp and 258 ft-lbs. of torque propelling the 530i xDrive Sedan from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds and reach a top speed of 210 km/h when equipped with all-season tires and 250 km/h when equipped with performance tires.


The BMW 540i xDrive Sedan is powered by a 3.0-liter six-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine producing 335 hp and 332 ft-lbs. of torque. This iconic inline-six engine variant allows the 540i xDrive Sedan to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 210 km/h when equipped with all-season tires and 250 km/h when equipped with performance tires.


The 4.4-liter V8 TwinPower Turbo engine in the M550i xDrive Sedan produces 523 hp and 553 ft-lbs. of torque propelling the sedan from 0 to 100 km/h in a scant 3.8 seconds and allows it to reach a top speed of 210 km/h when equipped with all-season tires and 250 km/h when equipped with performance tires.

8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission


The latest version of BMW’s quick-shifting automatic transmission features a new, optimized hydraulic control system for improved response and efficiency. A new generation of torsion dampers that reduce rotational irregularities within the powertrain helps to enhance both driving comfort and shift smoothness. Integral twin-damper systems for isolating vibrations reduce the degree of slip at the torque converter lock-up clutch.


The Steptronic Sport transmission, standard in the 540i xDrive and M550i xDrive Sedans, offers even sportier shift characteristics and faster gear changes while shift paddles on the steering wheel allow for rapid manual gear changes. The eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission also includes a Launch Control function for powering off the line with optimal traction.


Intelligent connectivity enables the 8-speed automatic transmission to adapt its shift strategy according to the route and driving situation. Working with the standard navigation system, the 8-speed Steptronic transmission uses data from this system and from the optional Active Cruise Control system’s radar sensor. This makes it possible for the transmission to avoid unnecessary gear changes when negotiating a series of fast corners and, when approaching a vehicle ahead for example, to shift down early in order to use the engine braking to scrub off speed.


BMW Intelligent xDrive


The fully variable power transfer of BMW’s intelligent xDrive ensures maximum traction and directional stability in all road and weather conditions while also promoting sportier handling. This functionality comes courtesy of the electronically controlled multi-plate clutch in the transfer case which links up with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system and constantly adjusts power transmission – precisely and in a fraction of a second – in response to the driving situation. In this way, any tendency of the vehicle to oversteer or understeer is greatly reduced.


The system’s rear-biased setup helps to ensure the new 5 Series Sedan retains the exhilarating driving experience drivers expect from a BMW. Sending more power to the rear wheels under normal driving increases agility when cornering. In situations which do not require all-wheel drive, the efficiency of BMW xDrive is increased by directing the engine’s torque to the rear wheels. The weight of the system has also been reduced, while optimized oil supply increases internal efficiency.


The M550i xDrive Sedan’s capabilities are further enhanced by the standard rear M Sport differential. This electronically controlled rear differential lock improves traction and power transmission by offering differing levels of grip for the left and right rear wheels and by preventing a wheel from spinning when it is short on traction.


Sophisticated Chassis Technology


The new 2021 BMW 5 Series Sedans use the proven double-wishbone front and five-link rear suspensions to deliver the best combination of excellent handling and long distance comfort. Lightweight and carefully tuned suspension components and bushings work in unison to prevent road irregularities from disrupting the steering and isolating the body while providing the agility expected of the BMW 5 Series sports sedan.


The M Sport Suspension, available as part of the optional M Sport Package (standard on 540i xDrive Sedan), includes specially tuned spring and shock settings plus a 10 mm drop in ride height.


Adaptive Drive, optional on the 540i xDrive Sedan features electronically controlled shocks which use continuously adjustable valves to adjust the damping force at each wheel individually, improving both the car’s sporting handling and comfort. 


Standard on the M550i xDrive is the Adaptive M Suspension which is specially tuned to provide greater poise and agility when pushing the car to its limits. The M550i xDrive Sedan’s handling can be even further enhanced with the Adaptive M Suspension professional which adds Active Roll Stabilization and Integral Active Steering.


Wheels, Tires and Brakes


M Sport Brakes with Blue Calipers with M logos are available as an optional on all 5 Series models and are standard on M550i xDrive Sedan. A new option are M Sport Brakes with Red calipers and M logos, available on all new 5 Series models.


530i xDrive and 530e xDrive Sedans come equipped with standard 19” x 8.0” alloy wheels with 245/40R19 all-season run-flat tires, while the 540i xDrive Sean comes equipped with 20” x 8.0” front / 20” x 8.0” rear alloy wheels with 245/35R20 front / 275/30R20 rear performance run-flat tires.

20” wheels can also be optioned on the 530i xDrive and 530e xDrive Sedans. Additionally the aforementioned models and the 540i xDrive Sedan can also be optioned with while 19” wheels finished in Jet Black.19” wheels with all-season tires can also be specified on the 540i xDrive Sedan.

The M550i xDrive Sedan is equipped with standard 20” x 8.0” front / 20” x 9.0” rear alloy wheels with 245/35R20 front / 275/30R20 rear performance non-run-flat tires. The standard wheel on the M550i xDrive Sedan can also be specified with run-flat tires


Advanced Driver Assistance Systems


All 2021 BMW 5 Series Sedans come equipped with standard Assist features designed to deliver peace of mind and improved driving comfort. Included systems are Lane Departure Warning with steering correction - to keep you in the lane, Frontal collision and pedestrian warning with braking function - which allows for reaction to vehicles, stationary objects, cyclists and pedestrians, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert - which warns of possible crossing traffic when backing up, Rear Collision Preparation, Automatic High Beams and Speed limit information.


Optional on the new 5 Series is the Driving Assistant Professional which adds Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Extended Traffic Jam Assist for limited access highways – a Level 2 autonomous assist system which helps to reduce fatigue in stop and go freeway traffic by allowing for extended hands free vehicle operation, Lane Keeping Assistant with side collision avoidance, Evasion Aid, Front Cross-Traffic Alert, and Emergency Stop Assistant – which can help guide your BMW to the shoulder and bring it to a halt in a medical emergency situation.


As part of the standard Live Cockpit Professional, the Navigation system is enhanced with 3D visualizations of the surrounding area, depicting all of the cars, trucks and motorcycles registered by the cameras and sensors in the driver’s current lane as well as those in any adjacent lanes. They are shown in the central section of the instrument display. Vehicles within a critical distance are highlighted. Graphics indicate maneuvers which can be carried out with the help of the assistance systems. This ensures the driver has an overview of the situation and relevant courses of action at all times. If route guidance is activated, the screen also shows a panel with navigation instructions above the 3D view.


The Navigation has also been improved with a new digital cloud-based feature called BMW Maps. The benefits are faster route calculations and dynamic recalculation based on precise real-time traffic data. The route is worked out using an anticipatory approach, meaning upcoming traffic along the entire route is factored into the calculation of the expected arrival time. Complete traffic data is now available for more minor roads, too. Hazard warnings transmitted online from the BMW fleet now reach the car even faster thanks to connected navigation. These improvements help to produce a very accurate estimate of arrival time and improved route guidance.  The destination input function has also been improved and now lets the driver enter any word. Alternatively, the destination can be entered at any time simply by voice control. Plus, points of interest (POIs) along the route are described in greater detail, with reviews, opening times and photos.


The optional Parking Assistant Plus includes a panorama view and 3D surround camera views to assist with parking. The system helps identify suitable parallel and perpendicular parking spots and can guide your 5 Series into and out of your selected spot. The included Back-Up Assistant records the last 50 metres driven at speeds below 35 km/h and can automatically reverse your 5 Series along the exact path take to help navigate narrow or winding driveways for example. The Remote 3D View function gives drivers the ability to call up a three-dimensional live image of their parked vehicle and its immediate vicinity on their smartphone. The Drive Recorder, a new feature to the BMW 5 Series, uses the cameras of the various driver assistance systems to record video footage from different points around the vehicle, before storing the recordings so they can be either watched later on the Control Display when the car is stationary or exported via the USB port.

The new 2021 BMW 5 Series Sedan also offers the latest version of BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant to help interact with your car in a more natural way. Activated by a spoken prompt, such as “Hey BMW” or at the touch of a button, this digital companion learns the way you communicate to provide better and more accurate responses. Naturally spoken instructions can now also be used to open and close the car’s windows (partially or fully) or adjust the air conditioning. In addition, the driver can set rules by which the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant learns routines that increase convenience in specific situations. For instance, the driver’s window could be opened automatically when the vehicle reaches a chosen location entered using GPS coordinates, such as the entrance to a garage.

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