BMW 5 Series Estate

BMW Great Britain has announced details of the new BMW 5 Series Touring models and a new high performance diesel engine for the 5 Series range. The third generation of BMW 5 Series Touring will debut at the Geneva Salon on 2 March, and goes on sale in the UK in May 2004 with two petrol and two diesel variants. In the autumn, a brand new high performance diesel engine arrives in the new 535d, offering new high levels of power and torque from a BMW diesel.

The new BMW 535d Saloon and Touring

Featuring BMW’s award-winning 3.0-litre diesel engine, the all-new BMW 535d offers a first for a BMW diesel car engine – two-stage turbocharging.

The new engine delivers a maximum output of 272 bhp and, more importantly, 560 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm, with 500 Nm available at just 1,500 rpm. This propels the new BMW 535d from zero to 62 mph in just 6.6 seconds. To put this into perspective, the current 530d, itself no slouch, produces 218 bhp while the E39 M5 offered 500 Nm of torque.

Two-stage turbocharging resolves the conflict of ‘turbo lag’ when accelerating hard at low engine speed and increases the availability of power at higher engine revs. The first turbocharger provides an almost instant kick of turbo pressure at low engine speeds while the second turbocharger cuts in at higher engine speeds to boost power throughout the higher rev range. The new turbo layout also extends the engine rev range by 500 rpm over the BMW 530d, to a maximum of 4,800 rpm.

Even with such performance, exhaust emissions are not compromised, since the 535d has a particulate filter and is fully compliant with EU4 regulations.

The new-generation 2.5 and 3.0-litre diesel and 4.4-litre V8 petrol engines also power the new BMW 5 Series Touring range, with only the 2.5-litre unit carried over from the previous generation Touring.

Diesel engines at launch

The new 2.5-litre six cylinder diesel engine develops 177 bhp and 400 Nm of torque between 2,000 and 2,750 rpm, 14 bhp and 50 Nms more than the outgoing 525d Touring. It accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 8.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 140 mph. The 525d Touring averages 40.4 mpg on the EU combined cycle.

The new-generation 3.0-litre diesel engine already featured in the 330d, 730d, and X5 3.0d balances near sports car performance with frugality. Producing 218 bhp and 500 Nm of torque, the 530d Touring accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in just 7.2 seconds and achieves a top speed of 150 mph, while still returning 39.2 mpg on the combined cycle.

As an additional benefit for company car drivers, both the 2.5 and 3.0-litre diesel models have a maintenance-free particulate filter to ensure that they comply with the EU4 emissions standards.

Petrol Engines

The 5 Series Touring entry-level model is the six-cylinder BMW 525i SE Touring. A familiar friend from the previous 5 Series range, the 2.5-litre Bi-VANOS petrol engine develops 192 bhp and 245 Nm of torque at 3,500 rpm while still delivering 28.5 mpg. Accelerating from 0 to 62 mph in 8.2 seconds, the BMW 525i SE Touring achieves a top speed of 144 mph.

The pinnacle of the new Touring range is the high performance BMW 545i SE. Powered by the award-winning 4.4-litre V8 engine and featuring BMW’s VALVETRONIC induction system and Bi-VANOS camshaft timing, the 545i SE develops its 333 bhp and 450 Nm of torque. Completing the 0 to 62 sprint in just 5.9 seconds, it goes on to an electronically-limited 155 mph top speed.

BMW 520i SE and 530i SE Touring models will be launched in spring 2005.

Six-speed gearboxes all round

All models in the BMW 5 Series Touring range feature a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. A six-speed automatic gearbox with Steptronic is available as an option, as is a six-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox with steering wheel-mounted paddles on the BMW 525i and 545i SE variants.


Measuring 4.48 metres (190.55”) in length, 1.85 metres (72.83”) in width and 1.49 metres (58.66”) in height, the new BMW 5 Series Touring is larger than the car it replaces. Internally the car offers 3cms more shoulder room, 4.5cms more rear passenger knee room and increased headroom for all occupants. Additionally, load capacity has increased, with up to 535 litres available with the 60:40 split folding rear seats in place and 1,650 litres with them folded down. This is an increase of up to 125 litres more than the previous model.

But a larger car does not mean an increase in weight. The new BMW 5 Series Touring is up to 50 kg or 110 lbs lighter than the car it replaces. This is due to the innovative use of lightweight materials throughout the car. Sharing technology with its Saloon counterpart, the new BMW 5 Series Touring features an all-aluminium front end: the bonnet, wings, brake callipers and front suspension are all made from this light metal.

The chassis is also made from aluminium and includes an integral arm rear axle and automatic self-levelling rear suspension as standard. Differing in design from its Saloon counterpart, the rear axle arrangement ensures the boot floor remains completely flat and avoids the suspension turrets intruding into the loading space.

The new BMW 5 Series Touring offers greater practicality than its predecessor too. Like the previous model the new car features a split boot lid, with the rear window opening separately from the rest of the tailgate to allow easy loading of small items. For added convenience, customers are able to specify a fully automatic boot lid operation. One press of the button on the key opens the tailgate and simultaneously electronically retracts the boot load cover.

Additional storage space is also available below the luggage floor with a lockable floor panel supported by gas struts. Below this is a 35-litre area for the spare wheel and tyre that becomes useable storage space when the car is specified with run-flat tyres.


Like its Saloon counterpart, the new BMW 5 Series Touring comes as standard with driver safety aids such as Dynamic Stability Control (including Dynamic Traction Control), Corner Brake Control and Brake Force Display.

BMW’s new Brake Force Display system (now fully legal in EU countries) is standard equipment on the new 5 Series Touring range. This new safety aid helps prevent rear end accidents. Under normal braking conditions, the LED brake lights illuminate when the pedal is pressed. However, in emergency

braking situations or when the anti-lock brakes cut in, a larger area of LED brake light illuminates to provide a warning to drivers behind of a dangerous situation ahead, giving them the maximum opportunity to react.

The new BMW 5 Series Touring is fitted as standard with 16” (17” on 545i SE) light alloy wheels fitted with 225 / 55 R16 on 525i SE, 525d SE and 530d SE models (225 / 50 R17 run-flat tyres on the 545i SE). A selection of 17” and 18” alloy wheels are available as options, all featuring run-flat technology. This allows a car with a punctured tyre to be driven fully laden for at least 90 miles at speeds of 50 mph, removing the need for hard shoulder tyre changes. Run-flat tyres also have the added benefit of negating the need for a spare wheel, thereby providing extra storage space and reducing weight.


The new BMW 5 Series Touring is available with a wide range of optional equipment allowing the owner to personalise their car.

BMW’s unique Active Steering system adjusts the amount of steering angle delivered to the front wheels, depending on vehicle speed. At slower speeds, to enhance manoeuvrability, less steering wheel input is required to change the angle of the front wheels. But at higher speeds, the steering becomes progressively more direct, requiring more steering wheel input to change the front wheel angle, thereby assisting high-speed stability. Active Steering is also linked to the DSC system so that if the car detects any oversteer, a small amount of corrective steering angle will be introduced automatically to stabilise the situation. For the enthusiast, this means fewer DSC interruptions under hard cornering with no reduction in passive safety.

Dynamic Drive is also available. Using active anti-roll bars on the front and rear, Dynamic Drive reduces body roll during cornering by up to 80 per cent, thereby stabilising the car and increasing ride comfort. The system does not affect suspension damping, allowing passengers to travel in complete comfort during normal driving conditions.

BMW’s new Head-Up Display system will debut in the new BMW 5 Series Touring in autumn 2004. This driver safety innovation projects a virtual image of important information, such as road speed, cruise control speed and Check Control messages, directly onto the windscreen in the driver’s line of sight. With the image appearing to be at the front of the bonnet, the driver does not need to refocus his or her eyes, which helps to reduce driver fatigue. The projection of information is not affected by the exterior lighting conditions since the system automatically adjusts the intensity of the image to suit the ambient conditions.

In combination with bi-xenon headlamps, Adaptive Headlamps are available. Using the speed and steering angle signals from the DSC system, the headlamps can swivel by up to 15 degrees. Hence they illuminate the road ahead rather than the direction in which the car is pointing.

Finally, customers wanting an increased feeling of space inside can opt for the new Panorama sunroof. Unlike a conventional sunroof, this two-panel roof exposes both the front and rear passengers to the benefits of fresh air and sunshine.

Text/Photos: BMW