BMW electrifies new 5 Series with 2018 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid

It's BMW's first plug-in that can be had with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.

Bernhard Limberger
Sedans

BMW is slowly electrifying its lineup, bringing plug-in hybrid models to a wide range of vehicles. Next up is the all-new BMW 5 Series, shown here in 2018 530e iPerformance guise.

The 530e starts with a four-cylinder turbocharged gas engine, which puts out roughly 180 horsepower and 215 pound-feet of torque. That's mated to an electric motor good for 95 horsepower and 184 pound-feet. Mix the two together, and you have a plug-in hybrid with a net output of about 248 horsepower. All the numbers are preliminary, awaiting proper finalization, so it may change before it debuts.

It's like when Dylan went electric, except not at all like that.

BMW

This marks the first BMW plug-in hybrid that can be optioned with either rear- or all-wheel drive. Its 9.2-kWh battery, tucked under the rear seat, provides enough juice for 15 miles of all-electric range (again, it's a preliminary figure). In its regular drive mode, it can run on electricity alone up to about 56 mph. Turn it to Max eDrive mode, and it'll silently hustle itself up to 87. Battery Control mode lets the user hold charge in the battery for later use. The battery will charge fully in under 7 hours using a standard wall outlet.

The 530e features the same safety systems as the regular 5er, despite the addition of the electric motor. It can help hold the car in its lane and navigate through thick traffic at speeds up to 130 mph. It'll prevent you from changing lanes into another car, as well, and it can provide extra steering effort for last-minute evasive maneuvers.

Being a new BMW, it's also positively loaded with in-car tech. The iDrive infotainment system is standard, tucked inside a 10.25-inch display that features both touch and physical controls. Gesture control is optional, as is a suite of BMW Connected apps that allow drivers to extend the ownership experience to smart devices, including wearables.

The 2018 BMW 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid goes on sale in the US in spring 2017. Pricing has not yet been announced.

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