The 535i is dead. Long live the 540i.
The road to a full reveal was long and filled with numerous teasers and spy images, but the seventh-generation 5 Series (G30) is finally here and it has brought along a newcomer. The 540i effectively replaces the 535i in the family and it will serve as the range topper until March next year when BMW will launch the M550i xDrive, itself set to be dethroned likely in 2018 by a new M5.
The 540i’s heart and soul is a turbocharged straight-six, 3.0-liter engine delivering 340 horsepower (250 kilowatts) at 5,500 rpm and 332 pound-feet (450 Newton-meters) of torque available from 1,380 rpm. When configured with the optional xDrive layout, the 540i Sedan will need just 4.8 seconds for the 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) task. Go for the standard rear-wheel drive, and the sprint will take an extra 0.3 seconds. Regardless of the version you pick, all 540i models are going to have an electronic top speed limiter programmed to kick in at 155 mph (250 kph).
If you’re wondering about how much it weighs, the RWD model tips the scales at 1,595 kilograms (3,516 pounds) whereas its xDrive equivalent is unsurprisingly heavier at 1,660 kg (3,659 lbs).
In terms of design, we’ve been through this already in the previous article about the 5 Series’ much-awaited debut. BMW has decided it would be best not to fiddle too much with the midsize sedan’s appearance, so the G30 brings some subtle revisions over its predecessor and also takes some cues from the flagship 7 Series.
It’s slightly longer, wider and taller than the model it replaces in order to provide extra room inside the cabin where those sitting on the rear seats have more legroom than before. Exclusively for the Chinese market, there’s going to be a long-wheelbase derivative bound to arrive at some point in 2017. Much like the exterior takes some inspiration from the old model and the larger 7 Series, the interior cabin also seems very familiar. It won’t be a problem for some people, but we’re sure some would have wanted a bit more diversity.
The overhauled 5 Series will go on sale in Europe from February in the following versions: 530i/530i xDrive, 540i/540i xDrive, 520d/520d xDrive, and 530d/530d xDrive. A month later, these models are going to be joined by the 530e, 520d EfficientDynamics Edition, and the aforementioned M550i xDrive.