Just a few weeks after the latest generation of the BMW 5 Series was launched, a plug-in hybrid variant, the BMW 530e iPerformance, will now join the ranks of the world’s most successful business sedan.
The BMW 530e iPerformance is a sporty sedan that serves up the dynamic driving experience for which the brand is renowned, combined with the possibility of electric driving with zero local emissions. Its fuel consumption of 1.9 l/100 km (148.7 mpg imp) equates to CO2 emissions of just 44 g/km.
The BMW 530e iPerformance is the most innovative model in its class and offers the full wealth of BMW 5 Series driver assistance systems – in all modes, including eDrive. These systems are complemented by all the available comfort-enhancing features and excellent long-distance driving credentials, including a boot that can hold ample luggage for trips away. As for its power source, trailblazing BMW eDrive technology teams up with a BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine to create an exceptionally economical and powerful plug-in hybrid drive system that fits perfectly with the dynamic, smooth and efficient character profile of the new BMW 5 Series.
The iPerformance tag attached to all of BMW’s plug-in hybrid models bears testimony to the transfer of know-how from BMW i to the core brand’s cars. The BMW 530e iPerformance is the sixth member of a growing portfolio of iPerformance models that have proved a hit with customers. Its exemplary environmental credentials have been recognised in the form of ISO certification by the TÜV Rheinland inspection authorities.
The entire lifecycle of the vehicle, from the extraction of raw materials and the manufacturing process as a whole to the usage phase and recycling, is taken into account to determine its environmental impact – known as its “global warming potential” – in the form of CO2 equivalents (CO2e). This independent certification in accordance with the ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 standards shows that the global warming potential of the BMW 530e iPerformance is 15 per cent lower than that of the BMW 530i powered purely by a combustion engine. If only renewably generated power is used to charge the high-voltage battery, the environmental impact of the plug-in hybrid model is reduced by as much as 47 per cent.
Power delivery on a par with a high-displacement combustion engine
The BMW eDrive system’s state-of-the-art electric motor has an output of 83 kW/113 hp and places maximum torque of 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) on tap, while the four-cylinder combustion engine with its 2.0-litre displacement generates 135 kW/184 hp and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque. The combination of motor and engine keeps the CO2 emissions of the BMW 530e iPerformance very low at just 44 g/km. The overall system output of 185 kW/252 hp and combined peak torque of 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) propel the BMW 530e iPerformance from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.2 seconds and enable it to reach a top speed of 235 km/h (146 mph).
The BMW 530e iPerformance has a range of up to 650 kilometres (404 miles) in real-world driving and is capable of covering distances of up to 50 kilometres (31 miles) purely on electric power at a maximum speed of 140 km/h (87 mph). The electric motor and combustion engine direct their power to the sedan’s rear wheels via the standard eight-speed Steptronic transmission. Positioning the electric motor upstream from the transmission allows the transmission’s ratios to be used in all-electric mode too. This dispenses with the need for a torque converter, something that goes a long way towards offsetting the weight penalty of the additional drive unit.
Unique charging innovations for the high-voltage battery
The high-voltage battery pack consisting of lithium-ion cells with a total capacity of 9.2 kWh has been placed in a space-saving location underneath the rear seat and includes efficient refrigerant cooling with a highly integrated low-temperature circuit. Thanks to the battery’s neat installation, the BMW 530e iPerformance offers 410 litres of boot capacity and a flat load compartment floor. The high-voltage battery of the BMW 530e iPerformance can be fully charged in under five hours from a standard domestic power socket and in under three hours if it is hooked up to a BMW i Wallbox (3.7 kW charging capacity).
With its BMW Digital Charging Service, BMW is the world’s first car maker to offer a service providing forward-thinking, comfortable and cost-efficient charging that is optimised for the use of green energy. On each occasion, the charging process is managed so that the vehicle always has access to full battery capacity at the required departure time – and, if desired, allows the cabin temperature to be pre-conditioned.
The BMW Digital Charging Service is based on two core functions: optimising battery charging in terms of both tariffs and the use of solar power. With tariff-optimised charging, the service adjusts the vehicle charging plan to the customer’s electricity tariff, so the process incurs the lowest possible electricity cost. If the customer has a BMW Wallbox Connect, solar-optimised charging allows electricity generated by their home solar power system to be prioritised for charging. Here, the system’s output data and the latest weather forecast are used to predict the amount of locally generated solar power available. If the necessary measuring equipment is installed, this information can also be used to determine what proportion of the solar power is not being used in the house at the time of generation and can therefore be diverted to provide virtually emission-free mobility. This enables vehicles with all-electric or part-electric power units to be integrated as effectively as possible into the home environment and the customer’s personal energy set-up.
In addition, BMW Wireless Charging for the high-voltage battery will be made available as an option for the BMW 530e iPerformance from 2018. This technology allows energy transfer to take place without the use of cables. Presented by BMW in prototype form, the system consists of a base pad with integrated primary coil – which can be installed in a garage, for example, but also in the open – and a secondary coil integrated in the underside of the vehicle. An alternating magnetic field is generated between the two coils, through which electricity is transmitted without cables or contacts at a charge rate of up to 3.2 kW. This form of power supply to the high-voltage battery is extremely convenient for customers and involves a charging time of around three-and-a-half hours.
Discreet visual differentiation inside and out
A series of understated visual highlights provide tell-tale signs of the cutting-edge drive technology under the bonnet of the new BMW 530e iPerformance. Blue kidney grille slats, blue wheel hub covers, the charging socket located between the front wheel arch and the A-pillar on the driver’s side, the “eDrive” emblems on the C‑pillars and, of course, the “530e” badge on the boot lid are the most noticeable identifying features of the plug-in hybrid variant. When passengers open the doors, they are welcomed by illuminated sill panels bearing “eDrive” lettering and an interior that mirrors the sporty elegance of the exterior design, just as it does on all variants of the business sedan. The BMW 530e iPerformance additionally comes with an eDrive button on the centre console, along with specially designed displays for both the instrument cluster in front of the driver and the central information screen.
BMW eDrive adapts and anticipates
As well as the Driving Experience Control switch, with its SPORT, COMFORT and ECO PRO settings, drivers will also find an eDrive button at their disposal, which lets them tailor the BMW eDrive system’s operation even more precisely to the journey ahead through three driving modes: AUTO eDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and BATTERY CONTROL.
AUTO eDRIVE ensures that the engine and electric motor interact to optimum effect in all driving situations and allows an all-electric top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph). This mode is automatically activated as the default setting every time the vehicle is started.
When MAX eDRIVE mode is selected, the BMW 530e iPerformance drives on electric power alone. To do so, it uses the electric drive’s full power and can attain a maximum speed of 140 km/h (87 mph). However, if the accelerator is pressed through to kickdown the engine will cut in, which is handy should an extra boost of power be desired – when overtaking, for example.
BATTERY CONTROL mode lets the driver set the charge level for the high-voltage battery manually. The target value can be adjusted to between 30 and 100 per cent of maximum charge, allowing that proportion of the battery’s capacity to be reserved for all-electric driving at a later point in the journey. The intelligent battery management of the BMW 530e iPerformance either keeps the high-voltage battery’s charge constant at the selected level or increases it to the pre-set value, with the electric motor acting as a generator. In this way, BATTERY CONTROL mode makes it possible to conserve or even increase the reserves of electric power while travelling on the motorway, for example, in order to ensure that an upcoming section through an urban area can be covered with zero local emissions.
Latest-generation iDrive for even more intuitive operation
As in all the other models in the new BMW 5 Series line-up, the navigation, telephone, entertainment and vehicle functions grouped within the optional high-resolution 10.25-inch display can be controlled not only using the iDrive Controller, but also by simply touching the buttons on the display or with the help of the Intelligent Voice Assistant. BMW gesture control, which reacts to simple movements of the hand or fingers, offers users another option when it comes to operating these functions.
All driver assistance systems and equipment features are available
The new BMW 530e iPerformance does not impose any restrictions when it comes to the choice of equipment options, meaning that it is able to support the driver with an extensive range of assistance systems, if desired – and these can also be used in eDrive mode. The systems comprise the evasion aid, crossing traffic warning, the Lane Change Assistant and active Lane Change Warning, which intervenes in the vehicle’s steering to avert an impending collision. The optional Active Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keeping Assistant now come with new functions. These include importing the speed limits relayed by Speed Limit Assist to the Active Cruise Control system, with the driver also having the option of setting a margin of variation of +/– 15 km/h (+/– 9 mph). This feature brings the BMW 530e iPerformance a step closer to automated driving, as does the Steering and lane control assistant; with this system, the vehicle helps the driver maintain a safe distance, accelerate, brake and stay in lane when travelling at speeds between 0 and 210 km/h (0 – 130 mph).
BMW Connected Onboard: the personalised start screen
With the launch of BMW Connected in the USA and Europe in 2016, BMW has introduced an all-encompassing digital concept designed to aid personal mobility. Using a flexible platform called the Open Mobility Cloud as a basis, BMW Connected seamlessly integrates the vehicle into the user’s digital life via multiple touchpoints, such as an iPhone, Apple Watch, Android smartphone or smartwatch. Further new functions have been introduced in the new BMW 5 Series Sedan, for example BMW Connected Onboard, which allows personalised information such as the next navigation destination, estimated arrival time and current weather conditions at the destination to be shown on the car’s display. BMW Connected is additionally able to transfer the user’s personal mobility agenda from their smartphone straight to their car.
Surround View and 3D View offer peace of mind to anyone who frequently finds themselves manoeuvring in awkward traffic situations in city centres by allowing them to keep an eye on the area surrounding their BMW 5 Series at all times. The system shows a bird’s-eye view of the driver’s car as well as a three-dimensional image of the traffic situation. With the Remote 3D View technology integrated into BMW Connected, these three-dimensional views of the vehicle’s surrounding area can now be accessed from smartphones too, allowing owners to quickly check on their parked car no matter how far away it is. The image data is transmitted over the mobile phone network to the mobile device.
Sixth model to carry the iPerformance tag
In the same way that M Performance is a nod to the link between the BMW core brand and BMW M, BMW highlights the transfer of know-how from BMW i to the core brand’s cars by adding the iPerformance tag to the designations of all plug-in hybrid BMWs. The list of groundbreaking models in whose tyre tracks the BMW 530e iPerformance will follow includes the BMW 225xe iPerformance, BMW 330e iPerformance, BMW X5 xDrive40e iPerformance and BMW 740e/740Le iPerformance, plus the BMW X1 xDrive 25Le iPerformance sold exclusively in China. BMW therefore offers an extremely wide selection of iPerformance models, ranging from compact to luxury-class. The new BMW 530e iPerformance brings a sixth model to the portfolio, with further additions set to follow.