BMW i5 M60 xDrive test: the 5 Series makes its electric debut

The eighth generation of the BMW 5 Series is now also offered as fully electric. We tested the highest version, the i5 M60 with 601 HP.

The key is “opening up to technology”. And that’s it bmw, unlike many other brands, continues to rely heavily on internal combustion engines. However, fully electric variants finally arrived in the eighth generation 5 Series (G60): BMW i5 eDrive40 with 340 HP and BMW i5 M60 of this test.

Design

She got bigger new series 5It is almost ten centimeters longer than before, with more than five meters in length and 1.90 meters in width (measurements of its predecessor G30: 4.96/1.87 meters). We thus see an almost classic sedan with beautiful proportions, a long hood, a double vertical grille and a relatively low body.

So it is not a typical design of an electric car and in fact it could be described as an internal combustion car. The test model is a i5 M60 with sharply angular bumpers, large air intakes, black side skirts and 20-inch wheels.

Interior: the iDrive controller remains

The interior is designed with good taste and style, the materials are noble and the quality is high. The curved display with a 12.3-inch screen for the driver and a 14.9-inch touchscreen for infotainment comes with brilliant optics and ultra-high definition graphics. And the physical iDrive controller remains in the center console: thanks, bmw.

It is about I ride version 8.5 and guides us through infinitely nested and branched menus with unmatched certainty. The range of features is amazing, but yes, there is also quite clever and useful voice control that works really well.

There’s plenty of space up front and an open atmosphere, but not as much in the back as you’d expect from a car over five meters long. As is typical for BMWs, you sit quite low to the ground; Tall people have to bend their knees enough.

Motor and behavior

The i5 M60 comes with an electric motor on the front axle (261 HP) and another on the rear (340 HP), the system output is 517 HP and 601 hp In Sport mode, the maximum torque is 795 Nm in normal mode and 820 Nm with Boost function.

In the i5 test acceleration to 100 km/h from rest in 3.8 seconds and 200 km/h in 12.0: these are the values ​​of a (super) sports car, incredibly fast. However, this does not apply to the maximum speed of 230 km/h.

BMW i5 M60 xDrive cockpit test

The electrical system has a high level of sophistication, the gas pedal reacts sensitively and the recuperation, adjustable in four stages, is sensitive. We recommend the single pedal driving mode, which works reliably until you stop.

On the other hand, the i5 is extremely quiet, nothing can be heard from the engine even under full load, and the value of 64 dB(A) at a speed of 130 km/h is simply exceptional. The brakes deserve the same epithet: in the test, the BMW i5 M60 It stopped from 100 km/h, with hot discs, after only 31.3 meters.

The tested car was equipped with suspension Adaptive M Professional with optional active tilt stabilization. Rear axle steering, rear air suspension and adaptive dampers are standard.

Test of the swept BMW i5 M60 xDrive

So the 2.4-tonne i5 is quiet, comfortable and stable on the highway, while also being remarkably nimble and manoeuvrable in corners. The steering adapts perfectly, is precise and quick, but not nervous and with a pleasant response.

The chassis setup is of course quite firm M60 It has an M in its name, but it still has very firm suspension and is extremely comfortable overall. To be clear: we haven’t seen such convincing performance from an electric car in a long time.

Excellent autonomous driving, improved autonomy

The i5 is among the very complex safety and assistance systems Management assistant Optional Professional, which means semi-automated driving at level 2. It also offers Highway Assist, which means you can take your hands off the wheel at speeds of up to 130 km/h on the motorway.

BMW i5 M60 xDrive rear end test

The system works very safely and pays special attention to the surrounding traffic. If the left lane is occupied, the i5 will stay in its lane and wait a bit longer until all the “low planes” have passed quickly. And it reacts with surprising, almost human agility.

The i5 M60 did well in the test 335 kilometers, so it’s not as spectacular in this section as in the others. The battery is 81.2 kWh (usable) and can be charged with 22 kW AC and a maximum of 205 kW DC. In the best case, it takes 30 minutes to go from 10 to 80 percent charge.

Factors that decide to buy

BMW has found a delicate balance with the i5. It looks (and drives) like a classic luxury sedan, yet it’s an all-new electric car, clearly one of the best in its class. However, autonomy allows room for improvement.

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