BMW has just released the latest version of its 5 Series mid-sized sedan, and for the first time since the 5 was introduced in 1972, it comes in both internal-combustion and all-electric flavours.
Five trim levels are available globally, and two of those are EVs – but Canada will only get the 530i xDrive (with a 255 hp, 2.0-liter turbo four cylinder) and the all-electric i5 M60 xDrive, which also happens to be the most powerful car in the lineup.
The M60 xDrive offers a total of 590 hp and 547 lb.-ft. of torque, with a rear-mounted 335 hp motor and a 257 hp motor in the front. All-wheel drive is, of course, standard here. In M Sport Boost or M Launch Control, that torque jumps to 605 lb.-ft., and BMW says i5 can hit 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds.
The i5 is powered with an 84.3-kWh (useable) battery made of 324 cells in seven modules spread along the floor, which will give the i5 M60 an estimated range of around 400 km (it hasn’t been EPA-certified yet). With a peak charge rate of 205 kilowatts, BMW says the i5 can get from 10 per cent charge to 80 per cent in around a half hour.
The i5 M60 xDrive also comes with the Plug & Charge feature, which promises to simplify public charging. Instead of having to pay with a card, the driver’s information for up to five different charging providers is stored in the EV’s iDrive; when the vehicle is plugged into a charger, the account and payment data is sent through the charger cable, and payment happens automatically.
In the US, there’s also the all-electric i5 eDrive40 with rear-drive, powered by the 335 hp motor in the back with 295 lb.-ft. of torque (a Sport Boost function pushes that to 317 pound-feet). Rounding out the gas models is the 540i xDrive has a 375 hp turbocharged 3.0L six cylinder hybrid powertrain, and a rear-drive 530i.
The eighth-generation 5 Series also sports its famous 50/50 weight distribution, and even with a stronger chassis throughout the lineup, BMW says the i5 is even stiffer with its floor-mounted battery pack. The M60 also gets four-wheel steering and is available with Active Roll Stabilization including Active Roll Comfort.
The 2024 BMW i5 M60 xDrive will start at $95,000, while the 530i xDrive starts at $70,500. Both will be in dealerships this October.