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1998 BMW 5 Series news, pictures, specifications, and information

The 1998 BMW 5-Series was available as the 528i Sedan and the 540i Sedan. A total of 27,463 examples of the 528i were sold in the US and 7,092 of the 540i Sedan. Powering the 528i was a dual-overhead-cam six-cylinder engine displacing 170 CID and offering 190 horsepower. Pricing began at $39,470 for the 528i and $53,870 for the 540i.

New for 1998 was a Head Protection System as standard equipment, and rear side air bags became available as optional equipment. The Sport package was standard on manual transmission cars. 540is with an automatic and the manual 528is could now be equipped with the Sport Package.

The 540i came with a 268 CID all-aluminum V8 offering 282 horsepower.

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2013

Five Times Around. History of the BMW 5 Series.

Sales of the BMW 5 Series already amount to more than 5.5 million units in five model generations – and now a new chapter is starting in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan.

While the sixth generation naturally follows the great heritage of its predecessors, its roots go back much further. As early as in the 1960s, BMW developed a strong and distinctive profile as a manufacturer of sporting but elegant, powerful and technically innovative midrange four-door sedans. Introducing a four-door notchback body, engines fitted lengthwise at the front, rear-wheel drive and an elaborate suspension, BMW established a classical principle at the time which remains highly attractive and fully endorsed to this very day.

It was at that time that the BMW 1500, the BMW 1800 and the BMW 2000 entered the market as the 'New Range', establishing the most successful model series BMW had ever seen up to that point. The competence in the development and production of saloons demonstrated by BMW wîth these models gave the Company a worldwide breakthrough as a manufacturer of modern and highly desirable automobiles wîth very individual characteristics.

Switching from the New Range to the BMW 5 Series in 1972, BMW introduced not only new nomenclature, but also a new era in design.

Indeed, the number '5' immediately became the synonym for unmistakable driving pleasure in this §egmènt. Ever since, the BMW 5 Series has stood for sedans which, through their design, offer particularly harmonious balance of sportiness and elegance authentically reflecting a unique combination of driving dynamics and motoring comfort ensured by superior drivetrain and suspension technology. The BMW 5 Series therefore offers a particularly concentrated rendition of the outstanding competence in development of this leading car maker from Munich.

1972: the BMW 5 Series makes its debut.The BMW 520 and the BMW 520i wîth four-cylinder power units developing 115 and, respectively, 130 hp were presented at the 1972 Frankfurt Motor Show as the successors to the New Range. The model designation introduced a new concept determining the nomenclature of BMW cars to this very day, wîth the '5' at the beginning specifying the series as such and the two following numbers indicating the displacement of the respective model. At the same time these model designations brought back memories of legendary BMWs in the 1950s such as the BMW 501 'Baroque Angel' and the iconic BMW 507 sports car.

In its design, the first BMW 5 Series stood out from the start through its stretched and sleek lines, large windows and low waistline. As design elements typical of the brand, the dual headlights and the Hofmeister kick in the C-pillar were re-interpreted in new style and technology, French designer Paul Bracq thus setting the foundation for the design language of BMW so characteristic in the 1970s. To precisely calculate the car's deformation zones in the interest of superior occupant safety, BMW's engineers for the first time used superior computer technology to a large extent.

Introduction of the BMW 525 in the second year of production hailed the entry of the first six-cylinder into the market. The powerful and, at the same time, refined engine featured in this top model delivered an impressive 145 hp. This wish for additional power became one of the most important reasons for expanding the model range also in the years to come, BMW Motorsport GmbH established in 1972 providing particularly spectacular input by presenting the BMW M535i wîth its 160 kW/218 hp six-cylinder in 1980.

1981: second generation, first diesel.

Accounting for sales of almost 700,000 units, the first generation of the BMW 5 Series more than doubled the success of the New Range in the market. The next model launched in 1982 then continued this story of success, remaining faithful in its design to the principle of clear lines and large windows.

With its even more striking design front and rear, the new BMW 5 Series, despite its exterior dimensions remaining almost identical, offered far greater presence and flair on the road. Engineering refinements and intelligent lightweight technology provided more space within the interior, optimum weight and improved occupant safety. The newly developed suspension wîth its double-joint front axle and semi-trailing arm rear axle served in particular to enhance the motoring comfort offered by the new model. Modern electronic systems were also introduced into the BMW 5 Series at this point, ranging from anti-lock brakes via an on-board computer all the way to electronic fuel injection.

Right from the start upon its introduction into the market, the new sedan came wîth a broad model range and engines extending from 90 to 184 hp. A particularly sporting version was introduced in 1984, even though the 218 hp BMW M535i was not the last word from Motorsport GmbH this time. Instead, Motorsport GmbH proudly presented the very epitome of the Sports Sedan at the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show, the BMW M5. Hardly distinguishable from the other models when considered from outside, the BMW M5 was optimised throughout beneath its sheet metal for uncompromising driving dynamics. Power came from a straight-six boasting four-valve technology and no less than six throttle butterflies. Output of this drive unit derived from the legendary BMW M1 was 286 hp, developing supreme thrust and performance previously offered by only the most thoroughbred sports cars.

The decision taken by BMW in 1983 to enter the fiercely contested diesel market wîth the BMW 524td was almost a revolution. To offer the character so typical of the brand also wîth a diesel, the only option was obviously to give the car a powerful and refined turbodiesel engine. The 2.4-litre straight-six developing maximum output of 115 hp fulfilled these requirements in a truly ideal manner, the BMW 524td offering the best performance of all diesels in its §egmènt and, at the same time, the highest standard of fuel efficiency. Clearly, even diesel sceptics were impressed by this innovative combination of superior muscle and equally outstanding economy.

Entry into the diesel market was not the only option for BMW to bring together sporting performance and superior economy. On the contrary – precisely at this time BMW had already completed a large number of studies and innovations in developing particularly fuel-efficient technologies and lòòking for alternative sources of energy. Many of these innovations went into series production in the course of time, others set the foundation for long-term research projects. One example is the hydrogen-powered test car presented as early as in 1976 on the basis of the first-generation BMW 5 Series.

Apart from the turbodiesel, a particularly efficient petrol version of the
BMW 5 Series proved suitable for series production right from the start: The BMW 525e was powered by a six-cylinder designed and built consistently for superior traction and economy all in one. Displacing 2.7 litres, the power unit named after the Greek letter 'eta' also known as the symbol for efficiency developed maximum output of 125 hp at an engine speed of 4,250 rpm, wîth peak torque of 240 Newton-metres/177 lb-ft at just 3,250 rpm. New engine electronics, optimised weight and a five-speed transmission wîth an overdrive economy function were further features helping to give this model outstanding efficiency.

The second generation of the BMW 5 Series was replaced after seven years of production. By this time sales had amounted to more than 722.000 units, again setting a new record.

1988: third generation of the BMW 5 Series – for the first time also as the Touring.

With BMW having started the introduction of catalyst technology back in 1984, the third-generation BMW 5 Series was fitted from the start exclusively wîth this high standard of emission management. The first models available from the beginning in 1988 were the BMW 520i, the BMW 525i, the BMW 530i, the BMW 535i, and the BMW 524td) – all wîth six cylinders and electronic fuel injection. The power range extended from 115 all the way to 211 hp.

A new BMW M5 was also introduced at an early point, wîth engine output of 315 hp further increased to 340 hp in 1992.

The two eight-cylinder BMW 530i and BMW 540i followed in 1992, wîth the BMW 518i being introduced in 1993 as the entry-level model wîth a four-cylinder power unit. In the meantime, the six-cylinder engines, benefiting from four-valve technology and variable Vanos camshaft management, had gained even greater power, torque and efficiency.

With its precisely defined deformation zones and even stiffer passenger cell, the third generation of the BMW 5 Series set new standards in the area of occupant safety. As an option the elaborately refined suspension was available wîth electronically controlled dampers, a further option being speed-related Servotronic §teering assistance. ASC Automatic Stability Control was also available for the first time in addition to the anti-lock brake system.

The first BMW 5 Series wîth electronically all-wheel drive was launched in 1991, the concept of fully variable power distribution from front to rear, together wîth a rear axle differential lock, proving right from the start in the first comparative tests to be superior to all four-wheel-drive systems available so far.

Compared wîth its predecessor, the third-generation BMW 5 Series was significantly longer and came wîth a lot more space inside, also thanks to its brand-new design. Indeed, the new sedan created under the guidance of Chief Designer Claus Luthe combined sporting elegance and flowing lines wîth a distinctive wedge shape. This stylish character was then carried over by the designers to the first BMW 5 Series Touring, this unique five-door revealed at the 1992 Frankfurt Motor Show offering a brand-new look and brand-new features behind the B-pillar.

With sound insulation being given particular significance, the level of sound within the body was virtually the same as in the sedan even though the generous space inside obviously formed an ideal resonance body for acoustic effect and disturbance. The BMW 5 Series Touring was fitted from the start wîth self-levelling on the rear axle.

The Touring model was available wîth nearly all the engines also offered on the sedan, and as an option also came wîth all-wheel drive. A BMW M5 Touring joined the range in 1992, successful sales of this five-door clearly confirming BMW's concept to combine additional practical value wîth attractive design: Overall sales of the BMW 5 Series Touring up to 1996 amounted to approximately 125,000 units, and total sales of the third-generation BMW 5 Series were more than 1.3 million units the world over.

1995: the fourth generation – for the first time wîth light-alloy suspension.

The fourth generation of the BMW 5 Series made its debut at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show, offering an evolutionary development through its design of the former model wîth its sporting and elegant style. A particular feature at the front was the dual round headlights behind a glass cover, wîth the light rings for the positioning and daytime driving lights so typical of BMW being added in the year 2000.

Both the sedan and the Touring introduced in 1997 once again offered even more space within the passenger compartment. Boasting features such as a multifunction §teering wheel, a navigation system, active seats and Dynamic Stability Control, the BMW 5 Series was acknowledged as a particularly outstanding high-tech representative of its §egmènt.

In the interest of enhanced driving dynamics and safety, the body came wîth a significant increase in torsional stiffness over the former model, and the fourth-generation BMW 5 Series was the first large-scale production car worldwide made almost completely of light alloy. The newly developed all-aluminium power units also helped to significantly reduce the weight of the car.

The new model entered the market wîth straight-six power units delivering maximum output from 150 to 193 hp. Technical innovations gave both the petrol and diesel engines even more power on further reduced fuel consumption. Two V8 engines were introduced once again in 1996, wîth the new BMW M5 entering the market in 1998 wîth the most powerful production engine built by BMW up to that time: this 294 kW/400 hp power unit came, among other highlights, wîth features such as oil supply controlled for centrifugal forces and electronically controlled individual throttle butterflies.

The fourth generation of the BMW 5 Series once again set up a new sales record accounting for 1.47 million units sold up to the end of production in early 2004.

2003: the fifth-generation BMW 5 Series – progressive and efficient.

From the start, the fifth generation of the BMW 5 Series introduced in 2003 stood out through its impressive design and innovative technology. Once again, both the sedan and the Touring launched in 2004 set new standards in terms of active safety, driver assistance systems, and efficiency. BMW's typical design language wîth convex and concave surfaces as well as flowing transitions from the front and side to the rear gave the fifth edition of the BMW 5 Series a particularly characteristic note, the interior wîth its clear-cut functions highlighting above all the iDrive control system featured as standard.

Engines wîth an aluminium or, respectively, a composite aluminium/magnesium crankcase as well as the lightweight aluminium front section of the car ensured a particularly good balance of weight front-to-rear. Another important component newly developed at the time was the integral rear axle likewise made of aluminium

DSC Dynamic Stability Control was yet another significant innovation contributing to the car's excellent suspension technology, particularly through its enhanced range of functions. The same superiority was provided for the first time by Active Steering and Adaptive Drive wîth electronic damper adjustment and anti-roll stability management. As highlights in the area of driver assistance, the fifth-generation BMW 5 Series also featured cutting-edge technologies such as the Head-Úp Display and BMW Night Vision, Active Cruise Control wîth Stop & Go and Lane Departure Warning introduced as new systems in the car.

The range of engines in the BMW 5 Series was expanded to six petrol and four diesel engines extending from 125 kW/170 hp in the BMW 520i all the way to 270 kW/367 hp in the BMW 550i. The BMW M5 and the BMW M5 Touring, in turn, came wîth a 5.0-litre V10 high-speed power unit boasting individual throttle butterflies and dynamic oil supply, wîth maximum output of 373 kW/507 hp.

Starting in 2007, all versions of the fifth-generation BMW 5 Series 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 §egmènt was in particular the BMW 520d returning average fuel consumption in the EÚ test cycle of 5.1 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 55.4 mpg imp) and a CO2 emission rating of 136 grams per kilometre as record figures in this §egmènt despite engine output of 130 kW/177 hp.

Offering striking design, innovative technology and outstanding efficiency,
the fifth generation of the BMW 5 Series consistently continued the victorious history of this model family. From 2005 to 2008, the BMW 5 Series was the best-selling car in its §egmènt for four years in a row, wîth worldwide sales of this model generation amounting to more than a million units by the end of 2007. Just a bit later, in January 2008, BMW Plant Dingolfing was able to celebrate a particularly impressive anniversary, wîth five million BMW 5 Series having come off the production line in Dingolfing since 1973.

Munich . Sales of the BMW 5 Series already amount to more than 5.5 million units in five model generations – and now a new chapter is starting in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan.

While the sixth generation naturally follows the great heritage of its predecessors, its roots go back much further. As early as in the 1960s, BMW developed a strong and distinctive profile as a manufacturer of sporting but elegant, powerful and technically innovative midrange four-door sedans. Introducing a four-door notchback body, engines fitted lengthwise at the front, rear-wheel drive and an elaborate suspension, BMW established a classical principle at the time which remains highly attractive and fully endorsed to this very day.

It was at that time that the BMW 1500, the BMW 1800 and the BMW 2000 entered the market as the 'New Range', establishing the most successful model series BMW had ever seen up to that point. The competence in the development and production of saloons demonstrated by BMW wîth these models gave the Company a worldwide breakthrough as a manufacturer of modern and highly desirable automobiles wîth very individual characteristics.

Switching from the New Range to the BMW 5 Series in 1972, BMW introduced not only new nomenclature, but also a new era in design.
Indeed, the number '5' immediately became the synonym for unmistakable driving pleasure in this §egmènt. Ever since, the BMW 5 Series has stood for sedans which, through their design, offer particularly harmonious balance of sportiness and elegance authentically reflecting a unique combination of driving dynamics and motoring comfort ensured by superior drivetrain and suspension technology. The BMW 5 Series therefore offers a particularly concentrated rendition of the outstanding competence in development of this leading car maker from Munich.

1972: the BMW 5 Series makes its debut.

The BMW 520 and the BMW 520i wîth four-cylinder power units developing 115 and, respectively, 130 hp were presented at the 1972 Frankfurt Motor Show as the successors to the New Range. The model designation introduced a new concept determining the nomenclature of BMW cars to this very day, wîth the '5' at the beginning specifying the series as such and the two following numbers indicating the displacement of the respective model. At the same time these model designations brought back memories of legendary BMWs in the 1950s such as the BMW 501 'Baroque Angel' and the iconic BMW 507 sports car.

In its design, the first BMW 5 Series stood out from the start through its stretched and sleek lines, large windows and low waistline. As design elements typical of the brand, the dual headlights and the Hofmeister kick in the C-pillar were re-interpreted in new style and technology, French designer Paul Bracq thus setting the foundation for the design language of BMW so characteristic in the 1970s. To precisely calculate the car's deformation zones in the interest of superior occupant safety, BMW's engineers for the first time used superior computer technology to a large extent.

Introduction of the BMW 525 in the second year of production hailed the entry of the first six-cylinder into the market. The powerful and, at the same time, refined engine featured in this top model delivered an impressive 145 hp. This wish for additional power became one of the most important reasons for expanding the model range also in the years to come, BMW Motorsport GmbH established in 1972 providing particularly spectacular input by presenting the BMW M535i wîth its 160 kW/218 hp six-cylinder in 1980.

1981: second generation, first diesel.

Accounting for sales of almost 700,000 units, the first generation of the BMW 5 Series more than doubled the success of the New Range in the market. The next model launched in 1982 then continued this story of success, remaining faithful in its design to the principle of clear lines and large windows.

With its even more striking design front and rear, the new BMW 5 Series, despite its exterior dimensions remaining almost identical, offered far greater presence and flair on the road. Engineering refinements and intelligent lightweight technology provided more space within the interior, optimum weight and improved occupant safety. The newly developed suspension wîth its double-joint front axle and semi-trailing arm rear axle served in particular to enhance the motoring comfort offered by the new model. Modern electronic systems were also introduced into the BMW 5 Series at this point, ranging from anti-lock brakes via an on-board computer all the way to electronic fuel injection.

Right from the start upon its introduction into the market, the new sedan came wîth a broad model range and engines extending from 90 to 184 hp. A particularly sporting version was introduced in 1984, even though the 218 hp BMW M535i was not the last word from Motorsport GmbH this time. Instead, Motorsport GmbH proudly presented the very epitome of the Sports Sedan at the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show, the BMW M5. Hardly distinguishable from the other models when considered from outside, the BMW M5 was optimised throughout beneath its sheet metal for uncompromising driving dynamics. Power came from a straight-six boasting four-valve technology and no less than six throttle butterflies. Output of this drive unit derived from the legendary BMW M1 was 286 hp, developing supreme thrust and performance previously offered by only the most thoroughbred sports cars.

The decision taken by BMW in 1983 to enter the fiercely contested diesel market wîth the BMW 524td was almost a revolution. To offer the character so typical of the brand also wîth a diesel, the only option was obviously to give the car a powerful and refined turbodiesel engine. The 2.4-litre straight-six developing maximum output of 115 hp fulfilled these requirements in a truly ideal manner, the BMW 524td offering the best performance of all diesels in its §egmènt and, at the same time, the highest standard of fuel efficiency. Clearly, even diesel sceptics were impressed by this innovative combination of superior muscle and equally outstanding economy.

Entry into the diesel market was not the only option for BMW to bring together sporting performance and superior economy. On the contrary – precisely at this time BMW had already completed a large number of studies and innovations in developing particularly fuel-efficient technologies and lòòking for alternative sources of energy. Many of these innovations went into series production in the course of time, others set the foundation for long-term research projects. One example is the hydrogen-powered test car presented as early as in 1976 on the basis of the first-generation BMW 5 Series.

Apart from the turbodiesel, a particularly efficient petrol version of the
BMW 5 Series proved suitable for series production right from the start: The BMW 525e was powered by a six-cylinder designed and built consistently for superior traction and economy all in one. Displacing 2.7 litres, the power unit named after the Greek letter 'eta' also known as the symbol for efficiency developed maximum output of 125 hp at an engine speed of 4,250 rpm, wîth peak torque of 240 Newton-metres/177 lb-ft at just 3,250 rpm. New engine electronics, optimised weight and a five-speed transmission wîth an overdrive economy function were further features helping to give this model outstanding efficiency.

The second generation of the BMW 5 Series was replaced after seven years of production. By this time sales had amounted to more than 722.000 units, again setting a new record.

1988: third generation of the BMW 5 Series – for the first time also as the Touring.

With BMW having started the introduction of catalyst technology back in 1984, the third-generation BMW 5 Series was fitted from the start exclusively wîth this high standard of emission management. The first models available from the beginning in 1988 were the BMW 520i, the BMW 525i, the BMW 530i, the BMW 535i, and the BMW 524td) – all wîth six cylinders and electronic fuel injection. The power range extended from 115 all the way to 211 hp.

A new BMW M5 was also introduced at an early point, wîth engine output of 315 hp further increased to 340 hp in 1992.

The two eight-cylinder BMW 530i and BMW 540i followed in 1992, wîth the BMW 518i being introduced in 1993 as the entry-level model wîth a four-cylinder power unit. In the meantime, the six-cylinder engines, benefiting from four-valve technology and variable Vanos camshaft management, had gained even greater power, torque and efficiency.

With its precisely defined deformation zones and even stiffer passenger cell, the third generation of the BMW 5 Series set new standards in the area of occupant safety. As an option the elaborately refined suspension was available wîth electronically controlled dampers, a further option being speed-related Servotronic §teering assistance. ASC Automatic Stability Control was also available for the first time in addition to the anti-lock brake system.

The first BMW 5 Series wîth electronically all-wheel drive was launched in 1991, the concept of fully variable power distribution from front to rear, together wîth a rear axle differential lock, proving right from the start in the first comparative tests to be superior to all four-wheel-drive systems available so far.

Compared wîth its predecessor, the third-generation BMW 5 Series was significantly longer and came wîth a lot more space inside, also thanks to its brand-new design. Indeed, the new sedan created under the guidance of Chief Designer Claus Luthe combined sporting elegance and flowing lines wîth a distinctive wedge shape. This stylish character was then carried over by the designers to the first BMW 5 Series Touring, this unique five-door revealed at the 1992 Frankfurt Motor Show offering a brand-new look and brand-new features behind the B-pillar.

With sound insulation being given particular significance, the level of sound within the body was virtually the same as in the sedan even though the generous space inside obviously formed an ideal resonance body for acoustic effect and disturbance. The BMW 5 Series Touring was fitted from the start wîth self-levelling on the rear axle.

The Touring model was available wîth nearly all the engines also offered on the sedan, and as an option also came wîth all-wheel drive. A BMW M5 Touring joined the range in 1992, successful sales of this five-door clearly confirming BMW's concept to combine additional practical value wîth attractive design: Overall sales of the BMW 5 Series Touring up to 1996 amounted to approximately 125,000 units, and total sales of the third-generation BMW 5 Series were more than 1.3 million units the world over.

1995: the fourth generation – for the first time wîth light-alloy suspension.

The fourth generation of the BMW 5 Series made its debut at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show, offering an evolutionary development through its design of the former model wîth its sporting and elegant style. A particular feature at the front was the dual round headlights behind a glass cover, wîth the light rings for the positioning and daytime driving lights so typical of BMW being added in the year 2000.

Both the sedan and the Touring introduced in 1997 once again offered even more space within the passenger compartment. Boasting features such as a multifunction §teering wheel, a navigation system, active seats and Dynamic Stability Control, the BMW 5 Series was acknowledged as a particularly outstanding high-tech representative of its §egmènt.

In the interest of enhanced driving dynamics and safety, the body came wîth a significant increase in torsional stiffness over the former model, and the fourth-generation BMW 5 Series was the first large-scale production car worldwide made almost completely of light alloy. The newly developed all-aluminium power units also helped to significantly reduce the weight of the car.

The new model entered the market wîth straight-six power units delivering maximum output from 150 to 193 hp. Technical innovations gave both the petrol and diesel engines even more power on further reduced fuel consumption. Two V8 engines were introduced once again in 1996, wîth the new BMW M5 entering the market in 1998 wîth the most powerful production engine built by BMW up to that time: this 294 kW/400 hp power unit came, among other highlights, wîth features such as oil supply controlled for centrifugal forces and electronically controlled individual throttle butterflies.

The fourth generation of the BMW 5 Series once again set up a new sales record accounting for 1.47 million units sold up to the end of production in early 2004.

2003: the fifth-generation BMW 5 Series – progressive and efficient.

From the start, the fifth generation of the BMW 5 Series introduced in 2003 stood out through its impressive design and innovative technology. Once again, both the sedan and the Touring launched in 2004 set new standards in terms of active safety, driver assistance systems, and efficiency. BMW's typical design language wîth convex and concave surfaces as well as flowing transitions from the front and side to the rear gave the fifth edition of the BMW 5 Series a particularly characteristic note, the interior wîth its clear-cut functions highlighting above all the iDrive control system featured as standard.

Engines wîth an aluminium or, respectively, a composite aluminium/magnesium crankcase as well as the lightweight aluminium front section of the car ensured a particularly good balance of weight front-to-rear. Another important component newly developed at the time was the integral rear axle likewise made of aluminium

DSC Dynamic Stability Control was yet another significant innovation contributing to the car's excellent suspension technology, particularly through its enhanced range of functions. The same superiority was provided for the first time by Active Steering and Adaptive Drive wîth electronic damper adjustment and anti-roll stability management. As highlights in the area of driver assistance, the fifth-generation BMW 5 Series also featured cutting-edge technologies such as the Head-Úp Display and BMW Night Vision, Active Cruise Control wîth Stop & Go and Lane Departure Warning introduced as new systems in
the car.

The range of engines in the BMW 5 Series was expanded to six petrol and four diesel engines extending from 125 kW/170 hp in the BMW 520i all the way to 270 kW/367 hp in the BMW 550i. The BMW M5 and the BMW M5 Touring, in turn, came wîth a 5.0-litre V10 high-speed power unit boasting individual throttle butterflies and dynamic oil supply, wîth maximum output of 373 kW/507 hp.

Starting in 2007, all versions of the fifth-generation BMW 5 Series 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 §egmènt was in particular the BMW 520d returning average fuel consumption in the EÚ test cycle of 5.1 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 55.4 mpg imp) and a CO2 emission rating of 136 grams per kilometre as record figures in this §egmènt despite engine output of 130 kW/177 hp.

Offering striking design, innovative technology and outstanding efficiency,
the fifth generation of the BMW 5 Series consistently continued the victorious history of this model family. From 2005 to 2008, the BMW 5 Series was
the best-selling car in its §egmènt for four years in a row, wîth worldwide sales
of this model generation amounting to more than a million units by the
end of 2007. Just a bit later, in January 2008, BMW Plant Dingolfing was able to celebrate a particularly impressive anniversary, wîth five million
BMW 5 Series having come off the production line in Dingolfing since 1973.

Source - BMW
Producing nearly fifty percent of BMW's total profits in 2010, the 5-Series has been produced since 1972 and is currently in its sixth generation. For more than thirty years the 5 Series has been the 'archetypical sport sedan' in its form, structure, performance and excellence. An executive car, the 5-Series is produced in both sedan and touring body styles. Following the 3-Series closely in popularity, the 5-sereies is BMW's second best-selling model. Replacing the dated four-door New Class sedans, the 5-Series received its name by being the fifth of the 'new series' cars after the V7 and Isetta era, a practice that was introduced with the E12 5-Series. In 2008 the 5 millionth 5-Series was produced, a 530d Saloon resplendent in Carbon Black Metallic.

Riding on a 102.4-inch wheelbase, the E12 5-Series was introduced in 1972 and would be produced until 1981. During its nine-year production run a total of 699,094 models were constructed. Measuring 181.1 inches in length and 66.5 inches wide, the E12 5-Series models had a height of 56.1 inches. The first series to carry the 5-Series name, the E12 was a replacement for the BMW New Class mid-side sedan. Smaller than the big BMW E3 sedan, the Series was bigger than the two-door 2002 models.

Paul Bracq and Pietro Frua were responsible for the styling of the first generation 5-Series, basing the design on the Bertone 1970 BMW Garmisch 2002ti Geneva show car. Only available with a manual transmission, the E12 was limited to only the sedan body style. US and Japan only versions could opt for an automatic transmission. The only engine available for the first year of production was a 2.0-liter four that produced 115 hp. The front suspension was a pair of basic MacPherson struts while the independent rear was supported by a set of semi-trailing arms. Quite possibly the quietest and most refined four-wheel disc brakes yet produced by BMW; they were effective and worked well with the taut unibody structure.

The 5-Series was a much simpler and cheaper car to produce compared to other BMWs, and that resulted in substantial profits. This new series was also much more contemporary in design than other BMW sedans, which was monumental in refreshing the drab BMW image from the 1970.

In 1975 the 5 Series was brought to the U.S. when the 3.0Si's SOHC 3.0-liter, straight six installed to produce 530i. Designed specifically for America, the large engine was popular in the U.S. due to then-new emissions regulations that were affecting engine outputs. The 530i's 176 hp was impressive by 1970's standards for a 3.0-liter engine. Road & Track tested the 530i and achieved 0-60 mph in 10.2 seconds, while Motor Trend did it in 9.7 seconds. The BMW 530i was an instant hit and had a base price around $9,097.


Not many changes were made until 1977 when a slight restyling included the front grille's distinctive twin kidney center becoming taller and more prominent, which led to a new narrow raised center along the hood. Other changes included redesigned larger taillights.

In 1979 BMW introduced the 528i for the American market. The 2.8-liter inline six engine was rated at 169 hp and had the use of a catalytic converter and other new emissions technologies and a new five-speed manual transmission, which actually improved drivability, performance and fuel-economy. Road and Track tested a BMW 528i and reached 0-60 mph in only 8.2 seconds.

The E12 M535i was seen as the predecessor to the M5 though there was no E12 M5 produced. Though it never came the U.S. the M535i was the first product of the BMW Motorsport division that reached consumers and proved to be one of the most significant 5 Series models ever during 1979. Producing 218 hp the M535i featured a large-bore/short-stroke version of straight six displacing 3.5 liters. Only available in Europe, the M535i was only backed by a close-coupled five-speed manual transmission. This would be the prototype for M cars to closely follow, the M1, M3, M5 and M6. It was considered by many to be the most desirable of all the original E12 5 Series cars.

Introduced in 1981 was the second-generation BMW 5-Series, the E28, with a very conservative redesign. Riding on a slightly larger wheelbase of 103.5 inches, the E28 was produced until 1988 with a total of 722,328 model produced. The BMW E28 grew compared to the E12, with a width of 67 inches and a length of 182 inches. Styling updates this year included large rectangular taillights, updated headlights and thicker rubber bumper surrounds. The E28's windshield, roof and doors were either a carryover or only slightly modified.

Under the hood updates included a six-cylinder diesel engine in both turbocharged and naturally aspirated forms, and an automatic transmission. The front struts incorporated a double pivot universal joint and angled coil springs now. The weight was dropped anywhere from 132 and 200 pounds depending on the models thanks to the use of new materials and advanced construction techniques. The padding was increased on the interior of the car to reduce the number of protruding bits. A new electronics system was implemented with a service interval indicator and an optional antilock braking system.

U.S. spec E28's received the new 2.7-liter 'eta' inline six engine. Rated at 121 hp the 528 e was the only E28 sold in the U.S. at first. The eta engine was coupled to either a five-speed manual or a three-speed automatic transmission. The following year in 1984 a four-speed automatic transmission was added to the options list for both the 528e and 533i. Not many other changes were made this year.

The E28 M5 was at the head of the M5 lineup and was powered by the S38 six-cylinder engine. The European spec E28 M5 was the considered to be the fastest production sedan in the world during its launch in 1984. Powered with the DOHC, 24-valve, 3.5-liter Motorsports version of the BMW straight six, the M5 had an impressive 286 hp available.

A third 5 Series model was launched for the American market in 1985. The biggest engine yet offered, the new model was powered by a new 3.4-liter, 182-hp version of the SOHC six installed in the 535i, which replaced the 533i. Placing a 2.4-liter, turbocharged diesel inline-six engine under the hood was the new model 524td. The slowest BMW 5 Series model, the 524td was only produced with four-speed automatic transmission producing a measly 114 hp.

The following year antilock brakes became standard on the 528e and 524td. Before the beginning of the 1987 model year the diesel 5 Series quickly disappeared. Taking its place was a new 535iS model placed at the top of the range and sporting a front air dam and rear spoiler. The following year not many changes were made, except for the introduction of the impressive M5 to the U.S. with mind-blowing performance. American's emissions required that the U.S. spec version be the 3.5-liter, DOHC, 24-valve six engine output of 256 hp.

With over a million of this series produced, the third-generation BMW E34 was introduced in 1988, truly an all-new vehicle. Riding on a 108.7-inch wheelbase, the E34 featured a much more streamlined body than its predecessor. Gently curved and more aerodynamic, the E34 had a drag coefficient between 0.30 and 0.32 cd. The E34 had a stiffer body that measured 185.8 inches in length and 68.9 inches wide. In 1991 the E34 received the best-in-class ratings from Intellichoice. Today this model is still considered to be one of the most reliable BMWs ever made, and a reliable luxury automotive choice.

During its production run the BMW E34 was one of the safest vehicles on the road. It featured an impressively rigid body structure to protect passengers during an accident along with 4-wheel anti-lock brakes and driver-side airbags. With an all-new structure with all-new suspension, the E34 was much roomier than before. Other safety features included (ASC) automatic stability control or (ASC+T) traction control in later years on higher-spec variants. Updates for the third-generation include the addition of a station wagon (touring) body style and an available V8 engine and all-wheel drive.

The US-version E34 arrived in the US with slight variations of familiar drivetrains. The 525 was powered by a 2.5-liter version of BMW's small SOHC straight six that produced 168 hp, while the 535i was powered by 3-5-liter version of the big SOHC six rated at 204 hp. The M5 version was powered by an upgraded version of the S38 six-cylinder engine. In 1993 the M5 received some attractive wheels along with new aerodynamically styled side mirrors.

In 1994 a new pair of engines were introduced. The 535i was replaced with a new 530i model powered by a new 3.0-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8 engine. BMW introduced a new 540i powered by a 34.0-liter version of the same bent engine. With an available 215 horsepower, the new 530i was available in both the sedan and Touring wagon body style. The impressive 540i V8's engine pumped out 282 hp.

For 1995 the 5 Series underwent a revise that included updated front fascias. The 540i was now available mated to a six-speed manual transmission and a lowered, Motorsport-tuned suspension with 17-inch wheels and tires. Sales of the '95 models continued into May of 1996 and no 1996 5 Series were offered in the U.S.

In 1997 the fourth-generation 5-Series was introduced, the BMW E39. Riding on a 111.4-inch wheelbase, the design of this series was inspired by the E38 7 Series in body and electronic technology. The E39 was about 2.2 inches longer than the E34 with an overall length of 188.0 inches was 70.9 inches wide. The most innovative update for this generation involved its suspension where most of the links and elements were currently cast of lightweight alloys rather than steel. Rack-and-pinion steering and the dramatic reduction in unsprung weight resulted in a much more responsive chassis.

No longer where any four-cylinder 5 Series cars offered in Europe. In the U.S. the 5 Series offerings were limited to only the six-cylinder 528i and the V8-powered 540i sedan for 1997. The 528i had five gears aboard either the manual or automatic transmissions and produced 190 hp. The 540i had a full 282 hp that was coupled to either a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. The six-speed included a 'Sport' package that included oversize wheels and tires and aggressive suspension.

The BMW E39 was incredibly popular and was often featured in Car and Drive's '10Best list'. Consumer Reports gave the 2001 530i its highest car rating and the 5-Series was considered the benchmark of its class. In 1998 all 5 Series received side curtain airbags as standard equipment. The automatic-equipped 540i now featured the sport suspension and wheels. In 1999 the station wagon, now called 'Sport Wagons' returned to the lineup in both 528i and 540i forms. Output was increased to 193 hp on the 528i thanks to an aluminum cylinder block and a variable timing system. The 540i's V8 engine also received variable valve timing, though its output remained the same at 282 hp.

The M5 returned in 2000 with a new Motorsport version of the V8 engine displacing 5.0 liters and stroking out a titillating 394 hp. The quickest production four-door sedan BMW had to offer, the M5 was only available with a six-speed manual transmission. As luxurious as a Cadillac, the latest M5 had powerful 18-inch wheels, a deep front air dam and an enviable agility similar to a 3-Series sedan.

The 528i grew into a 530i in 2001 with a new 3.0-liter version of the six now produced 225 hp. New to the lineup this year was a new 525i with a 2.5-liter version of the six now rated at 184 hp. While the M5 was only available as a sedan, the 525i, 530i and 540i were all offered as either a sedan or wagon. The following year not many changes were made except for the addition of more standard equipment for the 525i that included power seats and a CD player along with an increase in output for the 540's V8 engine, which now pumped out 290 hp. For 2003 minor updates included anew sport package for the 540i with 18-inch wheels and a revised sport suspension. A DVD-based system replaced BMW's outdated CD-based navigation system.

The fifth-generation 5-Series, the BMW E60 was launched in 2004. Riding on a 113.7-inch wheelbase, the E60 was designed by late BMW designer Davide Arcangeli. The non-traditional styling was met with many mixed reviews and criticism over its design and electronics. Despite this criticism the BMW E60 soon became the bestselling 5-Series. Compared to the previous generation, the E60 was incredibly innovative, especially with its controversial iDrive interface that controlled much of the vehicle. New technology was pulled directly from the recently redesigned 7 Series that included (ACC) Active Cruise Control, (PDC) Park Distance Control, (ARS) Active Roll Stabilization and a Harmon Kardon Logic7 sound system. (Only iDrive is standard on all 5 Series models. (AFS) or Active Front Steering is an exclusive first to the 5 Series and is an innovative system that varies the steering ratio all the way between 10-to-1 and 20-to-1, depending on the car speed.

Returning to this generation was all-wheel drive. A turbocharged petrol engine was used for the first time in the 5-series in the E60 535i. The new 545i uses the same 4.4-liter engine as the 540i did. The 2.5-liter six engine continued to be rated at 184 hp, the 3.0-liter six produces 225 hp, while the updated 4.4-liter V8 engine produced an impressive 324 hp. Each engine was offered with new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions with manual 'Steptronic' shifting on the automatic and the 'Sequential Manual Gearbox' (SMG) available with the manual transmission. Powering the E60 M5 was the S85 V10 engine.

The sixth-generation of the BMW 5-Series was introduced in 2010. Still in production today, the F10/F11/F07 rode on a 116.9-inch wheelbase, had a length ranging from 192.9 to 193.2 inches and was 73.2 inches wide. The sixth generation platform is based on the F01 7 Series. Updates for this generation included a rear multilink suspension and a front dual ball joint short-long arm suspension that replaced the MacPherson strut suspensions.

Returning to a more traditional BMW interior, this generation featured a return of the center console angled towards the driver. Many were in favor with the interior, but there were still critics that viewed it as 'too bland and conservative'. Powered by the S63 twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the F10 M5 was the first M3 or M5 to use forced induction.

China offered a long-wheelbase version model. Mexico produced the BMW 5 Security, which was inspired by the Chinese long-wheelbase model and built on the same wheelbase. This model was only available in long-wheelbase form powered with the 4.4L V8 engine.

BMW introduced the impressive 5-Series Gran Turismo (F07) five-door fastback in 2009. Sharing a similar body style to the Porsche Panamera, the GT stands taller than any other fastback model.

Designed by Christopher Weil, the F07 shares the same F01 7 Series-derived platform, mechanical package and powertrain with the F10. The F07 featured different headlights and bumper and had a larger split-kidney grille that was reminiscent of the F01 7 Series. Much taller, this new model featured a higher center of gravity and had more rear legroom in the interior thanks to its greater length. Frameless doors and a double-pane liftgate trunk were also featured on the F07. This model was the first BMW to receive the new ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and a new Brake Energy Regeneration system.

Unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show was the BMW 5-Series ActiveHybrid, a hybrid electric concept version of the BMW 5-Series. Reducing both fuel consumption and emissions by more than ten percent was the result of BMW ActiveHybrid technology. The production version of the 5-Series ActiveHybrid was introduced in 2012 by BMW.

Over the years the BMW 5-Series has been the recipient of numerous awards. From its introduction in 1997 for six years straight the E39 was on Car and Driver magazine's annual Ten Best list. For 1997 the car was on Motor Trend's Import Car of the Year. For 1997 through 200 the car was 'What Car? Executive Car of the Year'. In the 2009 Canadian Car of the Year awards the E60 was named 'Best New Luxury / Prestige Car'. Popular Science magazine rated the active seat continuous passive motion seating comfort tec¬¬hnology as one of the Best Invention of 1998. In 2001 and 2002 Consumer Reports found the E39 5-series their best car tested. The 5-Series was also awarded a best-in-class 4 ½ star rating by JP car pages.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_5_Series
http://www.edmunds.com/bmw/5-series/history.html

By Jessica Donaldson
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Arrow Right 1998 BMW models
BMW 323ti
BMW 7 Series
BMW E36 M3
BMW M-Coupe
BMW M5 E39
BMW Pickster
BMW Z3
1998 BMW Concepts
BMW Z07 Concept

Collectible: A Gathering of the Exceptional and Captivating
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March 201432,107 
February 201422,017 
January 201418,253 
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1 Series
1600
2 Series
2002
2800
3 Series
3.0 CS
3.0 CSL
3.5 CSL
318i
3200 CS
327/328
4-Series
5-Series
501
503
507
6 Series
7-Series
700
850
Dixi
Isetta
M Coupe
M1
M3
M5
M6
New Class
X1
X3
X5
X6
Z1
Z3
Z4
Z8

1999 540i Image Right
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