By Aries B. Espinosa

THOSE “Gs” mean generations, of which the all-new BMW 5 Series, unveiled on July 4 in Taguig City, counts seven. As BMW’s Philippine distributor Asian Carmakers Corp. (ACC) put it, the world’s most successful business car is riding on the legacy of the brand’s successes in the past 45 years, as well as hinging on the numerous innovations of its latest iteration inside and out.

In her opening remarks before the official unveiling, the president of ACC, Maricar C. Parco, disclosed that the rollout of the new 5 Series reaffirms the global strategy of the Germany-based automaker. “The seventh generation 5 Series mirrors the goals of our ‘Number One > Next’ strategy, which is to continuously develop premium mobility solutions that are sustainable, responsible, yet revolutionary.”

She added, “With already over 7.9 million units of the 5 Series sold all over the world, the all-new model will further extend its emotional appeal by embodying all the values of the business athlete — strong character, relentless determination, and a dynamic outlook in life — as this sedan has all the innovations that will continue the remarkable success of its predecessors.”

The marketing director of ACC, Karl B. Magsuci, provided the rundown of the highlights of the latest 5 Series.

He began with the exterior, enumerating the merging of the Active Air Stream Kidney Grille with the adaptive LED head lamps, the two character lines on each side of the car that turns up rearwards, highlighting BMW’s signature Hoffmeister Kink, and the dual tailpipes symmetrically arranged on either side. “These exterior touches give out that very mature, yet sporty demeanor at all times.”

Mr. Magsuci moved on to the interior, characterizing that in the new model as such: “When you enter the 5 Series, it’s almost always like a special occasion. Everything that you see, smell, touch, feel and hear, are designed and selected carefully.”

Initially available in the country are the 520d Luxury and 520d M Sport, which come with leather Dakota upholstery as standard, and the range-topping 530d Luxury, which is fitted with Nappa leather.

Mr. Magsuci showed the rear passenger space, the knee room of which is now longer by 18 millimeters. The transmission tunnel is now narrower in the back, allowing the rear middle seat to become wider.

“Three full-size adults can now sit in the back,” he said.

Mr. Magsuci also discussed the 5 Series’ Ambient Light and Air packages. “You can select from 11 different LED designs, depending on your mood, or whom you’re with. The Ambient Air Package offers up to eight different types of scents sprayed through the air-conditioning system. So, no need to buy air fresheners that can damage the A/C and the environment. Ours is made of organic and environment-friendly material,” he said.

Proving that the new 5 Series is a driver-centric sedan, Mr. Magsuci laid out all the goodies for the person behind the wheel.

“Even before the driver gets behind the wheel, he or she already gets a taste of the new 5 Series’ innovations,” he said, pointing out that the BMW Display Key, the first in the car’s class, does more than locking and unlocking the car, and starting the engine.

“In fact, it has more similarities with a smart phone. It reads out vehicle and trip information, fuel level, and can even switch on the A/C with it.” He added that the Display Key of the 530d also features the BMW Remote Control Parking.

“You can step out of the car, and use the display key for the car to park itself. This is useful for tight spaces where you need to go out of the vehicle before you park.”

Mr. Magsuci also pointed to the 12.3-inch digital instrument panel display, and the latest version of BMW’s iDrive and Interface Design 6 (ID6), which features a 10.25-inch LED touch display equipped with Navigation Professional. The highlight of the ID6 is the BMW Gesture Control, introduced in the BMW 7 Series last year.

“You don’t need to fiddle with the audio system of your car or your phone when you’re answering a call. All you have to do is make simple gestures in the air, which are read by a camera mounted on the ceiling. When you want to turn up or down the volume, when you want to accept or reject a call, just gesture,” he stressed.

To enhance the performance of an already “ultimate” driving machine, Mr. Magsuci said the engineers of the new 5 Series focused on essentially a weight-loss program.

“BMW used high-tensile strength steel and aluminum in strategic parts of the vehicle to make the car’s handling crisp and very direct. We have lessened the weight by 100 kilograms compared to the previous model. This has been partnered with the award-winning BMW TwinPower Turbo engine that now has lower emissions compared to the previous model. We have also mated that to an eight-speed automatic transmission with Steptronic function for seamless shifting and ensuring smooth power delivery at all times.”

The improvements have resulted in the new 5 Series generating impressive power plant readouts: The 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel engines of the 520d variants produce 190hp and 400Nm of torque while the 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel engine of the 530d generates 265hp and a dizzying 620Nm of torque.

Prices of the new 5 Series start at P4.590 million for the 520d Luxury, P4.990 million for the 520d M Sport, and P6.390 million for the 530d Luxury.

New BMW 5 Series arrives in the Philippines in three choices — 520d Luxury, 520d M Sport and 530d Luxury.

Driver-focused cabin, engine packs a twin-scroll turbo

Officers of BMW’s local distributor, Maricar C. Parco (left) and Karl B. Magsuci, present the new 5 Series. — ARIES B. ESPINOSA