BMW 5 Series brings 48V mild hybrid tech, more powerful PHEV

Daniel Fowler
May 30, 2020

BMW released details of the revised 2021 5-Series on Tuesday, and the auto features an updated look for the exterior, aerodynamic tweaks, new infotainment technology, a more-powerful plug-in hybrid system, and a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system for the 540i models. In addition, the vertical plates in the grille were made more prominent and were surrounded by a one-piece chrome material. Adaptive cruise control is, disappointingly, an additional cost option, though it's included with BMW's partially automated roadside assistant.

BMW will be showing off their 2021 BMW 4 Series next week but before that happens, they released a new teaser image showing us what the 2021 BMW 4 Series will have to offer when it arrives. But the basic setup is familiar from the pre-update model - as per the norm in mid-life refreshes like this - which is no bad thing, given the 5 Series' myriad talents. It's a much leaner range compared to the 5 Series, but most should provide more than adequate power. The 530i and 540i can be preferred as rear-wheel drive or optional xDrive all-wheel drive.

The rear of the new 5 Series features new LED tail-lights with black edging and an L-shaped graphic that combines the rear light and brake lights into a single feature, while the exhaust-end finishers are trapezoidal on all derivatives. The head- and taillights have both been redesigned, as have both the front and rear bumpers (for both the base vehicle and the M Sport package). While no news of the updated BMW M5 has surfaced, BMW South Africa has stated that it will only introduce the Competition version rounding off the range which will include the 520d, 530i and M550i.

Among the family of sedans, the BMW 5 Series 530e will remain a plug-in hybrid only.

2021 BMW 5 series hybrid vehicle

BMW said it plans to launch the three upgraded models in Korea in the fourth quarter of this year. It produces 520d 190 horsepower, 530d 281 horsepower and 540d 335 horsepower.

The engine options are the same as those found on the new 5 Series facelift and on the 6 Series GT too, all of them will be offered with a 48V mild-hybrid system (country-specific).

On to the six-cylinder range and it kicks off with the 630d GT.

New for 2021, however, is a 48-volt mild-hybrid system for the 540i which can aid fuel economy by recuperating energy lost during deceleration, smoothing out auto stop-start, and completely turning the gas engine off during steady coasting up to 99 miles per hour in Eco Pro or Comfort mode. Here's everything you need to know about the 2021 BMW 5 series. However, we expect it to be a bit more expensive than the 5 Series now sold and take its place in dealerships in the third quarter of this year.

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