The all-new 2011 BMW 5 Series makes its formal U.S. debut in New York with news that the completely redesigned mid-size 535i and 550i sedans will be even more affordable than the 2010 models they replace -- despite offering a longer and more desirable set of standard and optional features.
Base price for the 2011 BMW 535i will start at $50,475, which is $1,650 less than the 2010 model, while the 2011 BMW 550i opens at $60,575, a figure $900 below its 2010 counterpart. Both will arrive in BMW dealers on June 19th. In July, they'll be joined by the new 528i, although pricing for that entry-level 5 Series model has not yet been released. BMW also made no comment on the status of a production version of the Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid that it presented in Geneva.
Borrowing both styling and technology touches from BMW's flagship 7 Series, these all-new 5 Series sedans embody an even more sophisticated character in addition to their enhanced passenger and cargo space. Black Panel dash technology and richer-looking premium trim elements bid a more inviting welcome and the latest iteration of BMW's iDrive multifunction controller makes it easier to dial up settings on all of the car's various functional systems.
To ensure these latest iterations of its Ultimate Driving Machines also deliver the kind of new-era "Joy" the automaker has recently begun touting, the 535i and 550i get their own variations of the aluminum-intensive suspension that also underpins the recently introduced BMW 550i Gran Turismo. Those demanding even more engagement can opt for the Sport Package that brings Driving Dynamics Control, Dynamic Damping Control and Active Roll Stabilization, which can be augmented with Integral Active Steering -- BMW speak for four-wheel steering.
Motivation for these new BMW sedans reflects the latest in-house engine think. The 535i features BMW's new 3.0-liter twin-scroll/single-turbo direct-injected in-line six that makes 300 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque, while the 550i is fitted with the corporate 4.4-liter twin-turbo/direct-injected V8 that makes 400 horses and cranks out 450 lb.-ft. of twist. Both come backed with a mileage-enhancing eight-speed automatic transmission, although true to its enthusiast leanings, BMW will offer either with a six-speed manual gearbox as a no-cost option. For those who do like shifting for themselves but don't really care for a clutch, a recalibrated paddle-shifted "Sport Automatic" also is available. Other nifty options include a multi-view backup camera, Parking Assistant, Active Blind Spot Detection, Night Vision, Active Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Frontal Collision Warning systems.