BMW has announced a series of changes to its 5 Series line-up , including a range of new engines (with the addition of a 2,3-litre straight six) and an M Sport package across the range.

BMW has announced a series of changes to its 5 Series line-up , including a range of new engines (with the addition of a 2,3-litre straight six) and an M Sport package across the range.

Introducing the new range of six-cylinder engines first seen on the 3 Series launched earlier this year, the new 5 range will also see the addition of the 523i. Much like the E200 K in the Mercedes Benz E-Class range (R355 000), the 523i offers prospective buyers a more affordable way to enter the luxury saloon market at R341 000 for the six-speed manual and R355 000 for the version with the six-speed Steptronic transmission.

The new addition to the family slots below the 525i and 530i, both also equipped with the new engines, which use a composite aluminium/magnesium crankcase and BMW's second-generation Valvetronic variable valve lift technology for better performance and increased fuel efficiency.

The new 2,5-litre unit in the 523i produces 130 kW, and 90 per cent of its maximum torque of 230 N.m is on tap between 1 500 and 6 000 r/min. The 523i accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 8,5 seconds, and on to a maximum speed of 235 km/h.

The new straight sixes in the 525i and 530i have increased outputs. Peak power in the 525i, fitted with a more highly-tuned version of the new 2,5-litre engine, is increased to 160 kW (from 141 kW), while its maximum torque is up by five N.m to 250 N.m. Again, 90 per cent of the peak torque is available between 1 750 and 6 700 r/min. The 525i sprints to 100 km/h in 7,5 seconds and goes on to a top speed of 245 km/h.

The 530i also benefits from increased output - its power is up by 20 kW to 190 kW, while maintaining 90 per cent of its peak torque of 300 N.m between 1 500 and 6 700 r/min. The 530i reaches 100 km/h in 6,5 seconds and a top end of 250 km/h.

Overall fuel consumption for the three models ranges from 8,5 litres to 8,8 litres per 100 km.

Along with their more compact dimensions - they are about 2,5 cm shorter than the previous-generation sixes , due to the fact that they employ one external drive belt - the engines are also about 10 kg lighter than their predecessors.

The composite magnesium/aluminium crankcase weighs about 43 per cent less than the previous cast-iron block and , at 161 kg overall, is the lightest six-cylinder engine in its class.

Another weight-reducing measure is the use of composite camshafts with cam rings constructed from high-strength stainless steel fitted on top, to reduce the weight of each camshaft by about 600 grams.

The engines also incorporate an electric water pump for "on-demand control of the coolant flow" that is also claimed to contribute to the reduced fuel consumption figures.

In addition, the 5 Series is now also offered with the M Sports package , designed to enhance the muscular image of the car.

With the aerodynamics package, the car gets 18-inch double - spoke alloy wheels similar in design to the M5's 19-inchers, and lowered M Sports suspension. An anthracite roof lining and new aluminium trim strips are used in the cabin, along with an M Sports steering wheel and sports seats.

Prices:

BMW 523i (six-speed manual) R341 000

BMW 523i (six-speed Steptronic) R355 000

BMW 525i (six-speed manual) R379 000

BMW 525i (six-speed Steptronic) R393 000

BMW 530i (six-speed manual) R440 000

BMW 530i (six-speed Steptronic) R454 000

BMW 530i (six-speed SMG ) R453 000

Original article from Car