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5 Series Touring - F11 (2010 - ...) - Model history: The perfect Business Touring for Four Generations

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Model history: The perfect Business Touring for Four Generations

  • BMW 5 Series: successful since 1972, also available in the touring version since 1991.
  • Sporting elegance meets supreme functionality. Constantly growing market shares thanks to a proven concept.
  • Unique position as the most dynamic, active and innovative vehicle in the segment is being further strengthened.

More than 5.5 million units sold over five model generations reflect the success story of the BMW 5 Series. The figure 5 in the model designation was introduced in 1972 and has since been a symbol of sportingly elegant, powerfully performing and innovative automobiles in the midrange segment. Since 1991, the BMW 5 Series Touring has also contributed towards the steadily growing popularity of the BMW 5 Series. Right from the start, this body version was tailored to suit an exceptionally discerning, modern, active and versatile target group. And now the concept of the perfect Business Touring car for drivers who really appreciate the driving pleasure typical of the brand, have high demands on the aesthetics and quality of their car and, over and above that, know how to use the freedom gained from enhanced functionality, is being continued in its 4th model generation.
The outstanding qualities that characterise every BMW of the 5 Series are based on a tradition that goes back as far as the 1960s. At that time, the models BMW 1500, BMW 1800 and BMW 2000, then referred to as the “new class”, became the company’s most successful model series, ensuring BMW’s international breakthrough as a producer of modern, highly coveted automobiles with an individual character.  The origin of the Touring also goes back a long way, with the car manufacturer BMW proving at an early stage its competence in the development of innovative and trend-setting vehicle concepts.
The Touring versions of the BMW 02 Series produced from 1971 onwards also combined a variable utilisable interior, including a large tailgate, with unlimited driving pleasure and an individual, sportingly elegant design. Finally, the second generation of the BMW 3 Series Sedan was very successfully complemented by a Touring version. Since then, the Touring has established itself as an inherent part of the model range both in the BMW 3 and BMW 5 Series.

1991: debut of the BMW 5 Series Touring.
During development of the third-generation BMW 5 Series launched in 1988, designers had already taken into consideration the creation of an additional body variant. Very soon, the trade press was making speculations about a Touring version, constantly linked with the expectation that this BMW 5 Series model would also possess typical BMW handling characteristics as well as an elegant, stylish and unique design.  These assumptions were soon finally affirmed at the 1991 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The look of the third generation of the BMW 5 Series Sedan, which was designed under the direction of design boss Claus Luthe, had already been characterised by a distinctive wedge-shaped silhouette. Designers transferred this sophisticated character to the first BMW 5 Touring. Beyond the B-pillar, the five-door model featured an entirely independently conceived design.
Great importance was attached to sound insulation. Although the generously dimensioned interior was in itself an ideal resonator for acoustic disturbance, in practice there were no noticeable negative differences compared to the sedan.  Right from the beginning, the BMW 5 Touring has been equipped with self-levelling technology on the rear axle.
The BMW 5 Series Touring also reached sedan standards in terms of comfort features. Furthermore, a variable double sliding/lifting sunroof, a forerunner of the panorama sunroof on the current BMW 5 Series Touring, was available as a model-specific option. The separately opening rear window has also been a typical feature of the BMW 5 Series Touring since the first generation.
The BMW 5 Series Touring was available with almost all engine variants also featured in the sedan and, if desired, with four-wheel drive. From 1992 onwards, the model range also included a BMW M5 Touring. The BMW 5 Series Touring was also a pioneer in the field of alternative drive technologies. 1995 saw the launch of the BMW 518g Touring, whose engine could be powered either by petrol or natural gas. The track record of the five-door car underlines the concept combining additional utility with attractive design. Around 125,000 BMW 5 Series Touring units were sold by 1996.
All told, sales of the third-generation BMW 5 Series totalled more than 1.3 million units worldwide.


The second generation of the BMW 5 Series Touring: sales figures doubled.
1997, two years after the launch of the new version of the sedan, the second generation of the BMW 5 Series Touring debuted, both body variants continuing the sportingly elegant style of the predecessor in an evolutionary manner. Interior space was increased further, with the luggage compartment through-loading width of the second BMW 5 Series Touring up by a remarkable 16 centimetres or 6.3 inches. The dual round headlights installed together behind a single glass cover were a striking front-end feature. In the year 2000, they were equipped for the first time with typical BMW corona rings for the position and daytime running lights. With features such as multifunction steering wheel, active seats and Dynamic Stability Control, the BMW 5 Series presented itself technically as a particularly high-class representative of its segment.
In order to enhance driving dynamics and safety, the body of the BMW 5 Series Touring featured a 50 percent higher torsional stiffness than the predecessor model. The suspension developed for the sedan and the touring was made almost entirely of aluminium, making it around 36 percent lighter than the conventional construction. The newly developed all-aluminium engines also contributed considerably towards weight optimisation.
The second generation of the BMW 5 Series Touring featured a choice of ten different engine variants with four, six and eight cylinders and a power output ranging between 100 kW/136 bhp and 210 kW/286 bhp, four of which were diesel power units. Thanks to a convincing combination of driving pleasure, elegance and variable passenger compartment space, this model established itself stronger than ever before as a premium Business Touring car. In the year 2001, the trade magazine for the fleet market, “FIRMEN AUTO”, voted the BMW 530d Touring company car of the year in the category “Premium Estate Car”.  Accordingly, its market success also developed positively. Of the more than 1.48 BMW 5 Series units sold between 1995 and 2004, around 266,000 units were Touring models, meaning that the second generation of the BMW 5 Series Touring had more than doubled the sales figures achieved by the first version.

2004: BMW 5 Series Touring of the third generation – progressive and efficient.
The third generation of the BMW 5 Series introduced in 2003 impressed right from the start with progressive design and innovative technology. This model, which was again available as a sedan and from 2004 as a touring, set standards above all in terms of active safety, driver assistance systems and efficiency. Typical BMW design vocabulary, with convex and concave surfaces and flowing transitions between the front end, sides and rear end, also gave the third generation of the BMW 5 Series Touring a characteristic note.
Once again, equipment standards featured in both the sedan and the touring were increased in equal measure. The interior with its clear and concise functionality offered a driving experience characterised by the iDrive control system fitted as standard.
Engines featuring either an aluminium or composite aluminium-magnesium crankcase as well as a weight-reduced aluminium front end facilitated a particularly balanced distribution of weight between the front and rear axles.
A further new development was the integral rear axle made of aluminium. Stability control DSC with additional functions, Active Steering and the Adaptive Drive system with Electronic Damper Control contributed towards the outstanding quality of the suspension technology. The BMW 5 Series Touring of the third generation came as standard with rear-axle pneumatic suspension with automatic self-levelling. Highlights introduced in the field of driver assistance systems included the Head-up Display and the systems BMW Night Vision, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function as well as Lane Departure Warning.
The engine range available for the BMW 5 Series Touring was extended to include six petrol and four diesel engines with a power output ranging from 125 kW/170 bhp for the BMW 520i to 270 kW/367 bhp for the BMW 550i.
A 5-litre V10 high-revving power unit, delivering 373 kW/507 bhp and featuring individual throttles and optimised dynamic oil supply, was developed for the BMW M5 Touring.
Starting in 2007, all versions of the third-generation BMW 5 Series Touring were enhanced as standard through a wide range of BMW EfficientDynamics technologies varying appropriately from one model to another. Innovations such as Brake Energy Regeneration, a gearshift point indicator, active air flap control and on-demand ancillaries gave all models in their respective class an unparalleled balance of performance and fuel economy. The ultimate benchmark for efficiency in the upper midrange segment was in particular the BMW 520d Touring, achieving an average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 5.3 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 53.3 mpg imp) and a CO2 emission rating of 140 grams per kilometre, the best figures in the upper midrange segment despite an engine output of 130 kW/177 bhp.
Offering striking design, innovative technology and exemplary efficiency, the fifth generation of the BMW 5 Series consistently continued the triumphant success story of this model family. The BMW 5 Series Touring, which was again able to surpass its predecessor in terms of sales, has made a significant contribution towards this success. From 2005 to 2008, the BMW 5 Series was the best-selling car in its segment for four years in a row, with worldwide sales of this model generation amounting to more than a million units by the end of 2007. Just a little later, in January 2008, the BMW Dingolfing Plant was able to celebrate a particularly impressive anniversary, with five million BMW 5 Series units having come off the production line there since 1973.

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 May 2010 17:55  

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