The BMW 5 Series is a mid-size / executive car manufactured by BMW since 1972. The car, now in its fifth generation, is sold in sedan and touring body styles.
On January 29, 2008, the 5 millionth 5 series was manufactured, a 530d saloon in Carbon Black Metallic.
The 5 Series got its name by being the fifth of the “new series” cars after the V-8 and Isetta era. The preceding models were the 700, the “New Class”, the “New Six” 2500/2800/Bavaria and the CS. The 5 Series was intended to replace the older New Six sedans.
The body was styled by Marcello Gandini, based on the Bertone 1970 BMW Garmisch 2002ti Geneva show car. Gandini also did the Fiat 132 and Alfa Romeo Alfetta, two other cars that have a similar design.
There have been five generations of the 5 Series to date. To differentiate between them, they are referred to by their unique chassis numbers (EXX).
The 5 Series began the BMW tradition of being named with a three-digit number. The first digit (5 in this case) represents the model, and the following two digits (usually) represent the size of the engine in decilitres, which is the main distinguishing difference. Additional letters or words may be added to the end of the three-digit number to define the fuel type (petrol or diesel), engine or transmission details, and the body style. The ‘i’ originally stood for (fuel) ‘injection’.
In May 2009, BMW released the official pictures of its production model 5-Series Gran Turismo (BMW F07), which is considered a coupé-like crossover vehicle or station wagon – a blend of different typical body styles. BMW advertises the new 5-Series GT as “The First of its Kind”. The 5-Series GT is powered by a single-turbo diesel I6 producing 245 PS, by a single-turbo I6 producing 306 PS and a twin-turbo V8 producing 408 PS; the latter will give the car a 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds. The car receives BMW’s new 8-speed serial automatic transmission, along with a new Brake Energy Regeneration system.
BMW has suggested that the new 5-Series GT would replace the 5-Series Touring (wagon) in their North American lineup, due to slow sales of the E61 wagon in the United States, with only 400 sold in 2009. In that country, more BMW M5 and Z8s have been sold than the 535i and 540i wagons, respectively. BMW is targeting annual sales of 4000 to 8000 5 Series GTs.
The E39 5 Series was on Car and Driver magazine’s annual Ten Best list for six years straight, from its introduction in 1997 through 2002. It was also Motor Trend’s Import Car of the Year for 1997 and What Car? Executive Car of the Year 1997 through 2002. The E60 was named “Best New Luxury / Prestige Car” in the 2006 Canadian Car of the Year awards. Active Seat continuous passive motion seating comfort technology recognized as one of the Best Inventions of 1998 by Popular Science magazine. Consumer Reports found the E39 5 series their best car tested in 2001-2002. The 2010 BMW 5 Series was revealed in November 2009