THE recent output of BMW cars has been pushing the brand into the forefront of discussions on design and performance.
The large grilles seem to bother a lot of people, but like most things, it’s a matter of getting used to. Given time, it will be hard to remember what the older versions of Beemers looked like except in pictures.
Which raises the issue of seeing something in 2D versus in the metal. Feel the dips and curves in the metal, the smooth leather, the gleam of glass and the purr of an engine that’s eager to please and growl in delight when allowed to do so.
The new BMWs are raising temperatures while establishing dominance in a crowded space that is becoming noisy for the quietness of the electric vehicle.
Striking a balance with its mild hybrid technology — a 48V starter-generator and a second battery increases the brake energy that is regenerated and stored. This stored juice reduces the combustion engine’s workload while upping its power.
One of the benefits of this set-up is the removal of the annoying start/stop feature when the car comes to a stop.
The 530i driven here is a good example of why this is an important car for BMW.
The sharper front with the square set lights and shapely bumper gives it a racier look. The outline of the body, rising fast and sloping off in a gentle roll creates an optical illusion of a much smaller car. Certainly not the case when you get inside.
Having sold 600,000 of this model generation, the facelift gives it a lower stance and a shaping that gives it a sportier look. Just shy of *$300K, the 2L, 4-cylinder TwinPower turbocharged engine pumps out 188kW and accelerates from 0-100kmh in 6.4 seconds.
That would be pretty fast, except you don’t really feel it.
The 530i is such an executive machine, it seems to suppress any eagerness about its capabilities. With its cool, detached personality it quietly goes about its business, allowing the occupants to have a safe journey, with all the benefits of the latest gadgetry on board.
The display is now 12.3” and shows crisp colours and gives you a greater feel of the surrounding. You also see lots of fingerprints.
The new BMW OS 7.0 includes a personal assistant, remote software upgrade, parking assistance and other features like steering and lane control, and active navigation, to bring you closer to automated driving.
And you certainly get that feeling, which is clearly a step in the global right direction, even if it seems to strip the emotion from the experience.
Html code here! Replace this with any non empty text and that's it.