Do you remember when BMW revealed the seventh-generation 5 Series saloon back in October? Well now, pictures of the bulked-out Touring estate version have emerged online, ahead of its physical unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
The 5 Series Touring faces tougher competition than before. As if Merc’s E-Class estate wasn’t enough, it will now have to contend with the swanky new Volvo V90. So how will it do this?
Well, just like its saloon sibling, the estate 5 Series will feature the almost-autonomous driving system first introduced with the 7 Series. This pulls together sensors, cameras and radars that enable it to cruise on motorways at speeds up to 130mph with minimal human involvement. There’s also a new parking assist that locates empty spots and a remote parking system that can park the car without anyone at the wheel.
Again, like its big brother, steel components have been replaced by aluminium, in a bid to make it lighter in weight and more fuel efficient. This approach has been applied to the body panels, suspension and engine mounts. It helped shave 100kg from the saloon’s kerb weight, and you can expect similar reductions with the estate too.
In addition to this exercise in lightweighting, an efficient drive system and optimised aerodynamics help improve fuel consumption and emissions by 11 per cent, compared to the previous 5 Series Touring.
If driving itself wasn’t enough, the driver can tell their 5 Series Touring what to do via an intelligent voice-control assistant, similar to Apple’s Siri.
If they don’t feel like talking to their car, there’s also gesture control, where the driver can just wave or do various hand gestures to control functions. We’re not sure how the car would react to the inevitable, less savoury hand signals but we want to find out.
Planted in the centre of the dashboard is a 10.25-inch touchscreen and a head-up display for the driver that projects current speed and other information onto the windscreen.
Four engines will be available from launch. Petrol options include the 530i – a 248bhp two-litre four-pot unit, mated to an eight speed automatic gearbox, reaching 62mph in 6.5 seconds – and the 540i xDrive, an all-wheel drive three-litre straight six-pot with 335bhp that’s good for 62mph in 5.1 seconds.
Diesel drivers can opt for the 520d – a 187bhp two-litre unit linked to a six-speed manual that can do 62mph in eight seconds or 7.8 seconds with the eight-speed auto. This will be the frugal motorist’s choice, achieving up to 65.7mpg combined while emitting just 119g/km of CO2.
Finally, there’s the 530d – a 261bhp three-litre straight-six with rear- or all-wheel drive (0-62mph: 5.8 seconds).
The new 5 Series Touring will go on UK sale in June, after its Geneva debut.
For more articles like this, receive our weekly e-newsletter, including partner deals and all things motoring, register your email below.