With an increase from two to five models featuring innovative plug-in hybrid drive, the new 5 Series offers the largest range of PHEVs within one BMW Group model series.
July 2020 saw the launch of the 530e Sedan and 530e xDrive Sedan. Come November, the 545e xDrive Sedan, 530e Touring and 530e xDrive Touring versions will arrive.
Let's talk more about the range-topper.
The all-wheel drive 545e features a synchronous electric motor delivering a maximum power output of 80 kW/109 hp, which is combined with an efficient straight six-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology and 210 kW/286 hp, together generating an overall system output of 290 kW/394 hp.
Power is distributed as required to all four wheels via an 8-speed Steptronic transmission and intelligent BMW xDrive four-wheel drive. Maximum system torque is 600Nm and top speed is reached at 250kph, whilst a speed of 140kph is possible in purely electric operation.
From a standstill, the 545e accelerates to 100kph in 4.7 seconds, making it the most dynamic of all BMW six-cylinder plug-in hybrids.
Thanks to intelligently controlled interaction between both drive systems, the 545e combines the best of two worlds. It facilitates purely electric driving in urban traffic and efficient commuting between home and the workplace, and also excels through dynamic performance and comfortable long-distance travel.
With a purely electric range of 54–57km and an average fuel consumption of 2.4–2.1 litres/100 km, the 545e combines driving dynamics and a high level of long-distance ride comfort with efficient use of resources.
The latest plug-in hybrid model is fitted with a 400V lithium-ion battery which is positioned under the rear seat in order to save space. With a luggage volume of 410 litres, the transport capacity of the 545e is only slightly smaller than of those model variants which are fitted with a conventional engine.
In order to make optimum use of the combination of the straight six-cylinder engine featuring ultra-smooth running characteristics and eDrive technology in all driving situations, the 545e supports the driver in numerous ways in terms of energy management. Various driving modes, some of which can be individualised in their operation, are selected by pressing the corresponding button on the centre console.
The HYBRID mode is the default setting, which ensures a balanced set-up and an intelligent interaction between combustion engine and electric motor.
It is also possible to select ELECTRIC mode as the standard setting via the iDrive menu. In HYBRID mode, the electric motor is predominantly used. The combustion engine only kicks in at higher speeds or under intensive load conditions.
Since the system is linked to the navigation system, the interaction between combustion engine and electric motor can be adapted more precisely to the route profile, topography and other driving situations in an anticipatory manner.
The electric range is increased by recuperation in overrun and braking phases. The energy supply saved in this way can then be used specifically for locally emission-free driving through urban areas and the arrival at the defined destination.
By pressing the HYBRID button twice, an efficiency-optimised version of this operating mode (HYBRID ECO PRO) is activated.
The coasting function on the overrun, among other things, contributes to a further reduction in consumption. The navigation and sensor data-supported control system also optimises the effectiveness of braking energy recovery. When approaching a junction or a vehicle driving ahead, for example, adaptive recuperation kicks in during deceleration.
In SPORT mode, the electric motor supports the straight six-cylinder petrol engine when the overall system output of 290 kW/394 hp is fully needed. The set-up is designed for dynamic performance, and the gearshift program is sporty.
The ELECTRIC mode, on the other hand, enables locally purely emission-free driving up to 57km and up to 140kph.
Special sounds for 545e
The new “ready to drive sound” produced by the 545e xDrive is the result of the collaboration with composer Hans Zimmer and is designed to trigger "joyful anticipation" of the electric drive when the driver enters the vehicle and presses the Start/Stop button.
A distinctive sound created especially for electrified BMW models is used for the purpose of acoustic pedestrian protection, emitted via a speaker system. The sound design in the low speed range of up to 30 kph radiates a vibrant acoustic presence, though without impairing the acoustic comfort of vehicle occupants.
BMW's “Active Sound Design” emulates engine sounds that are directed to the cabin via the car audio system.
BMW is also offering digital services that boost the attractiveness of electric driving even further.
The BMW eDrive Zone service facilitates the automatic switching over of the drive system to purely electric mode when entering an urban low-emission zone and similar inner-city areas. In addition, local emission-free driving with a BMW plug-in hybrid model is rewarded through the globally unique loyalty programme BMW Points.
Apart from filling stations, the navigation system also displays public charging points. When selecting a charging station, the driver is also provided with a forecast on its occupation status as well as recommendations for nearby restaurants or cafés. Moreover, BMW enables BMW Charging customers to reserve an enabled charging station for a limited period of time.