BMW has expanded the 5 Series’s plug-in hybrid lineup with the new, six-cylinder 545e xDrive saloon
BMW has launched a new, more powerful plug-in hybrid version of the 5 Series badged the 545e xDrive. When it goes on sale in the UK later this year, prices will start from £54,945.
The BMW 545e xDrive shares the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as the recently launched X5 xDrive45e SUV, which comprises a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine, an 11.2kWh battery pack and an electric motor for a maximum output of 387bhp and 600Nm of torque.
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BMW’s most powerful PHEV powertrain gives the 5 Series a 0–62mph time of 4.7 seconds, an top speed of 155mph and, more importantly, a maximum electric range of 33 miles. However, fuel economy and emissions figures are slightly poorer than the 530e, though; the 530e xDrive has claimed fuel economy figures of between 128.4–176.5mpg, while the 545e xDrive returns between 117.7–166.1mpg.
CO2 emissions figures follow the same pattern – the 530e emits between 35–50g/km, compared to the 545e’s figures of between 38–54g/km of CO2, which could be enough to swing the decision for company car buyers.
As the 545e is based on the facelifted 5 Series, it receives all the cosmetic and technology tweaks fitted to the updated standard model. So, buyers get a slightly tweaked radiator grille, slimmer LED headlamps and updated front and rear bumpers. Inside, BMW has also added support for Android Auto to it’s 12.3-inch infotainment system.
The 545e xDrive forms a key part of BMW’s latest electrification strategy, which is focussed on expanding its pure-electric, PHEV and mild-hybrid models. BMW expects half of its European sales will be electrified by 2023 – although the German brand has confirmed that it will continue to improve and develop its combustion-engined models alongside its electrified offerings, as BMW is aware that not all of its customers are ready to make the switch to an electric powertrain just yet.
BMW sees PHEVs as a happy medium between the convenience of petrol power and fully electric. BMW has attempted to make the new 545e act like an EV in the city by installing new geo-fencing technology that automatically forces the saloon to run in pure-electric mode when the car recognises it’s in a built-up area.
What does the new BMW 545e xDrive have to beat? Check out our list of the best PHEVs on sale now…
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