2021 BMW 5 Series revealed with 48V mild hybrid tech

As promised, the 2021 BMW 5 Series facelift has been revealed today. It introduces 48V mild hybrid tech for almost the entire range, revised styling, and some added tech inside. Some variants also receive a bump up in engine power.

Kicking off with the design changes, BMW has applied a tidy nip and tuck to the stately sedan and wagon. It incorporates wider and thinner headlights with new LED L-shaped daytime running light patterns, optional Laserlighter technology, with wider and more focused front grilles in between that are connected with a single trim piece.

There’s also a revised front bumper bar that features straighter edges and sharper intakes. Around at the back are a pair of updated taillights that use new LED patterns to match the headlights, with discreet bumper bar shaping changes below for a cleaner look..

A new M Sport pack brings in updated aero styling, new-look 20-inch wheels and optional 20-inch “Air Performance” wheels (below), a new dark grey diffuser at the back, and trapezoidal exhaust tips to complete the stance.

Dynamic Display Ad(Long Version)

So, what’s new under the bonnet? A lot, actually. BMW is rolling out a range of updated engines for most of its vehicles. The biggest change is the introduction of 48V mild hybrid technology for all four- and six-cylinder engines. This is aimed at reducing emissions and fuel consumption but also increasing power outputs in some cases.

Starting out the range is the 520i and 530i. These continue with a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, producing 135kW/290Nm and 185kW/350Nm, respectively. Acceleration across 0-100km/h takes a claimed 7.9 seconds and 6.4 seconds, respectively, in sedan forms. These come with mild hybrid tech, with fuel consumption rated between 5.3-5.5L/100km for both the 520i and 530i, in sedan forms.

Moving up to the 540i, it comes with a 3.0-litre turbo inline-six that produces 245kW and 450Nm, clocking 0-100km/h in just 5.2 seconds for the rear drive sedan and 4.9 seconds for the xDrive all-wheel drive sedan. This also comes with mild hybrid tech, with fuel consumption rated between 6.3-6.5L/100km for the rear-drive sedan.

At the top of the petrol range is the M550i. It features a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 that belts out 390kW and 750Nm. Zooming from 0-100km/h takes a claimed 3.8 seconds, while fuel economy is rated between 9.7-10L/100km. It is one of the only variants that doesn’t come with the new mild hybrid tech.

If it’s pure economy that you want, BMW is presenting two hybrids for the updated model; the 530e and a new 545e. The 530e pairs a 2.0-litre turbo producing 135kW with an 80kW electric motor. Combined, the system produces 215kW and 420Nm. It offers an electric range between 62-67km, with an average fuel consumption between just 1.7-1.8L/100km, for the sedan. Acceleration across 0-100km/h takes 5.9 seconds.

Stepping up to the 545e combines the 3.0-litre turbo inline-six with the same electric motor system. Combined, it produces an impressive 290kW and 600Nm, which is enough to see 0-100km/h done and dusted in a claimed 4.7 seconds. It offers an electric range of 54-57km, and a fuel economy of 2.1-2.4L/100km, for the sedan.

Rounding off the powertrains are three updated diesels; 520d, 530d and 540d. The 520d comes with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder producing 140kW and 400Nm, matched with mild hybrid tech. In the sedan 0-100km/h comes up in a claimed 7.2 seconds. Meanwhile the 30d uses an uprated 3.0-litre turbo-diesel that now generates 210kW and 650Nm (up from 195kW/620Nm). It can conquer 0-100km/h in a claimed 5.6 seconds, or 5.4 with xDrive all-wheel drive, in the sedan. Going for the 540d (xDrive only) sees outputs lifted to 250kW and 700Nm, with 0-100km/h coming up in just 4.6 seconds.

As for the interior, BMW adds its latest 7.0 operating software as well as a 12.3-inch media screen interface. There’s also revisions to the centre console and iDrive controls, as well as a standard leather-wrapped sports steering wheel incorporating the latest buttons in sync with the 7.0 system.

BMW Australia confirms there will be five variants introduced locally, including the M550i range-topper, the 530e hybrid, and two other petrol models and one diesel. Finer specs and prices will be announced closer to its local launch in October.

Brett is the editor and founder of Performance Drive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.