The car lost weight, but became only bigger and more spacious (+66 mm in length; +46 mm in width; +33 mm in height). For the first time in the world “active steering”, Active Front Steering, is used on a production car: this electronic system, depending on driving speed, makes the steering wheel sharper in the range of low and medium speeds and less nervous at high “strokes”.
Every literary scholar spends enough time in his or her career studying the magic of numbers in any given author. How many steps Raskolnikov took to the old woman’s house, what allusions the number twelve evokes in Blok’s poem of the same name, whether the numerical mythology of Bulgakov even makes sense… But why wouldn’t an automotive journalist approach the analysis of one of the greatest works of the Bavarian Motor Works, the BMW 5 Series, in the same way? Having five in the name, let’s remember that the current model will already be the fifth, if you count by generations – a godsend coincidence! Now we know, that Bavarian engineers probably put a special meaning in words about “perfection” of this model. Let’s look further – the new “five” is brought out in July 2003 (the seventh month and the third year of the new millennium), originally equipped with three engines. And compared to its predecessor, its weight has been reduced by 75 kilograms. Three, five, seven! Sacred numbers for any brand lover tell us that we’re on the right track. Oh, and one more thing: it’s not without reason that all press releases mentioned dynamism of the 3 Series and solidity of the new “seven”, united in the latest representative of the 5-Series from BMW. Well, for the sweet stuff – the index model (E60) and the new six-speed gearbox, which their “number” clearly hinted at the soon appearance in the lineup of the long-awaited coupe under the designation 6 Series … And believe me, to ponder over such numerical coincidences in numerical indexes of BMW cars is much more interesting, than to scratch tongue about the next disputable design of Chris Bangl. Just as soccer players argue with the judge’s decision which he will never cancel, it is hardly necessary to count that a wave of popular protest will force the company to return to the “ideal” body E34 or to stay with the “beautiful” E39. Any way you look at it, design has never been the strongest side of Bavarians, and everything that they can be justly proud of stays with us. And even more. The 520i (170 hp), 530i (230 hp), and 530d (218 hp) six-cylinder engines are now equipped with six-speed transmissions as standard. At the end of the year the 525i (192 hp) and 545i (333 hp) will join the range.
The car lost weight, but became only bigger and more spacious (+66 mm in length; +46 mm in width; +33 mm in height). For the first time in the world “active steering”, Active Front Steering is used on the serial automobile: this electronic system changes steering ratio depending on driving speed, making the steering wheel sharper in the range of low and average speeds and less nervous on big “moves”. Thus, the steering will always be a little lighter in city traffic, and on the country highway nothing will interfere with a stable straight-line movement at high speeds. Thanks to AFS, the company managed to make a step forward, preserving the tuned steering as one of the key values, while the desire to completely sever the mechanical links between the wheels and the steering wheel, replacing them with electronic ones, was certainly great. The ASF capabilities give additional leverage to the DSC dynamic directional stability control system, which now works not only with the engine control, but also with the steering, changing the steering angle in a critical situation. Fearless to realize the power of the car engine will help finely tuned and fully aluminum suspension car, as well as an interesting system Dynamic Drive, which due to the presence of two active stabilizers transverse stability allows you to get rid of most rolls in the corners.
Adaptive headlights are not a sensational novelty for a long time, but in the new “Five” they are able to rotate 15 degrees in both directions, providing optimal road lighting when driving in a turn. Adaptive brake lights, which change the area of light depending on the intensity of braking so far has not passed the European homologation, but the company still decided to start installing them – after the completion of tests this feature can be activated by software means.
In 2004, the appearance of cars equipped with Active Cruise Control and projection display (Head-Up Display), which displays information necessary for the driver directly on the windshield – a similar system is borrowed from military aircraft and used in Chevrolet Corvette cars.
In order to manage the internal electronic systems, buyers will have to master the second generation of the system iDrive – the famous controller became smaller, and the control algorithm – simpler. The list of standard equipment elements includes climate control with adaptive regulation of evaporation temperature, which helps prevent overcooling or excessive dryness, what often happens with conventional air conditioning systems.
Since July of this year, customers will be able to order the new Five in five options and four color finishes. And we will, adding and subtracting, wait for the new “six”