BMW are reaffirming their position as an industry leader for premium cars with the unveiling of their new 5 series range.

This marks two firsts for the 5 Series, a plug-in hybrid called the 545e and the M550i.

Alongside these announcements are a number of less drastic updates to the styling and technology in an effort to outclass rivals Audi and Mercedes.

The new range will be available to the public from July 2020.

The M550i

The M550i will utilise BMW’s twin-turbo V8 making it the most high performance 5 Series available, prior to the new M5 being released.

The 4.4l engine will produce an ample 535lb-ft of torque and 530hp.

To keep this power usable on the road an M Sport Differential and adaptive suspension come as standard.

Unlike other 5 Series trim levels, BMW xDrive four-wheel drive is the only option, so bad news for anyone looking to spec a rear-wheel drive M550i.

The 545e

Announced alongside the uber-saloon M550i, the 545e will appeal to an entirely different market of 5 Series buyer.

This plug-in hybrid uses the combined power of a twin-turbo inline-six with a 12kw electric motor.

Those looking for a plug-in hybrid estate will be disappointed as the 545e is only available as a saloon.

The 545e will hit UK roads later than the other new 5 Series models in November of this year.

Other Significant Changes

Despite the M550i and 545e being the stars of the show there are numerous other innovations coming with the new 5 Series range.

The 540i is no longer available as a saloon and will be a Touring only model, and will come with a lower horsepower figure of 333hp.

A number of visual changes have also been made with updated slimmer headlights featuring the current BMW LED design.

There is also some minor black detailing added to the tail-lights, and reshaped air intakes throughout the bodywork.

The 5 Series won’t be featuring the controversial gargantuan grille as seen on other BMW models, but revisions to the front bumper do resemble its big brother – the 7 Series.

Technology

The new 5 Series will feature a 2.05 inch larger infotainment touchscreen, now measuring 12.3 inches in diameter.

BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant technology and smartphone integration will comes as standard on all models. These will both update automatically without any need for a physical connection or wifi access.

A myriad of new driving safety features have also been fitted with steering, lane, and parking assist, adaptive cruise control, and a new rear-facing camera.

The available trim levels are the standard BMW offerings; SE, M Sport, and M Sport Edition, with each upgrade offering more technology, and performance with each increase in price.

Pricing

An entry level 520i without any optional extras will cost £37,480 which will be cheaper than the previous 5 Series base model.

The range topping M550i will burn a £67,595 sized hole in your pocket so it may be worth hanging on for the M5 if it’s the quintessential super saloon you are craving. Currently the M550i simply bridges the gap between the new 5 Series range and the eventual M car.

All models will be launched in July of this year, except for the plug-in hybrid 545e which will be available from November 2020.

You can read more about pricing and the specifications of the new 5 Series on the official BMW site here.