The wraps have come off of the all-new 2017 BMW 5 Series, a midsize sedan that represents a significant step forward in overall design to keep pace with key rivals, most notably the all-new 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. In addition to its more contemporary appearance, significant weight reduction and enhanced dynamics, the new 5 Series also boasts better packaging and introduces a selection of advanced connectivity features along with and driver assist systems.

Constructed from a mix of aluminum, magnesium and high-strength steel, the new 5 Series is up to 137 pounds lighter than the car it replaces. Despite that mass reduction, its core is both stronger and more rigid. While the dimensions are only marginally larger than those of its predecessor, the 2017 model has a more aggressive profile that meshes with the bolder front and rear fascias, both now framed by LED lighting.

The base LED Adaptive units on the 5 Series can be upfitted with Adaptive Full LED Headlights that offer an edgier look. Like other BMWs, the new 5 Series now benefits from new active slats in the signature twin-kidney grille that automatically open/close as needed to further optimize the aerodynamics. The Sport Design trim has become standard and for those seeking more flair, the M Sport Package, M Aerodynamic kit and M Sport suspension options return, as does the Luxury Package.

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New turbo engines

When it launches here next spring, the 2017 BMW 5 Series Sedan will be available in 530i and 540i forms, each with its own xDrive AWD variant and all fitted with new, modular TwinPower Turbo engines and an 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. The 530i duo packs a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 248 horsepower between 5,200 and 6,500 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque from 1,450 rpm to 4,800 rpm.  Both versions accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.8-6.0 seconds. Stepping up to the 540i brings a new 3.0-liter force-fed inline-6 that develops 335 horses between 5,500 to 6,500 revs and 332 lb-ft of torque from 1,380 to 5,200 rpm, sufficient to bring up 60 mph in just 4.7-4.9 ticks. Top speed of all new 5 Series models is limited to 130 mph, but rises to 155 mph when the cars are fitted with the M Sport option.

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Largely constructed of lightweight aluminum, the suspension in the recast 5 Series has been tuned to deliver a better mix of comfort and control. It now works with a new variable-ratio, speed-sensitive electromechanical power steering system that can be upgraded to all-wheel steering, which will be available on xDrive models. Also on offer is BMW’s Adaptive Drive system with Dynamic Damper Control that replaces the previous hydraulically-actuated active roll stabilization setup with a new lighter, faster and more precise electrically controlled design.

Revised cabin

Inside, the new BMW 5 Series boasts an even more accommodating cabin with a revised dash design, updated iDrive interface with a 10.5-inch high-def screen and upgraded trim along with more standard/optional features to complement its additional 1.2 inches of rear-seat legroom and larger, easier-to-access 18.7 cu ft trunk. The standard 16-way power Sport buckets can be upgraded to 20-way heated/cooled units with massage function on the new 5 Series. Also available is the latest Gesture Control setup culled from the 7 Series, a new-gen Navigation Professional system that can modify the transmission shifting strategy to improve fuel economy, wireless phone charging with Wi-Fi, a new multicolor Head-Up display, two audio system upgrades (600-watt Harman Kardon and 1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins) and an enhanced dual-screen rear-seat entertainment package.

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On the driver-assistance front, the 2017 5 Series Sedan features a new and improved Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go that functions at all speeds up to 130 mph. It also will either come with or offer a wide range of additional safety/convenience systems including 3D Surround View, Active Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection, Active Lane Keeping Assistant with Side Collision Avoidance and Remote Controlled Parking along with the BMW Connected suite of services that also includes integration capability with an Amazon Alexa device.

Making its formal public debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, the 2017 BMW 5 Series Sedan will arrive in showrooms next February. Final pricing, EPA numbers and packaging specifics will be released closer to the on-sale date.

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