2018 BMW 530e xDrive

Managing The Transition From Gas To Electric

As most manufacturers move to electrification, at different paces, I have a feeling that nobody knows exactly when the internal combustion engine (ICE) will be “totally dead.” ICE is one of the greatest technological applications in history and it is still improving and getting better, quieter, more fuel-efficient, more durable and more-else.So, a flexible yet dynamic approach is necessary to shoot this moving target: And hybrids and plug-in hybrids are the intersection of the old and new.
Last year, BMW introduced the seventh-generation 5 Series, a model family which co-leads the executive luxury sedan class worldwide. In my humble opinion, a typical buyer of these automobiles is not much worried about the fuel consumption of e few liters. It is more about witnessing and experiencing a transitional technology that each company and BMW demonstrates. This Bimmer, which with a fully charged battery promises 45 kilometers of quiet, nearly vibration-free driving while keeping a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine under the hood.

BMW 530e has a starting price of at $67,500 and our fully-loaded tester had roughly $16,000 with options rising the price up to $82,750.

The Engine

That ICE is similar to the one in the 530i and four-cylinder versions of various other BMW models, but is tuned specifically for this car to produce 180 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque on its own. The electric motor alone is good for 111 hp and 184 lb-ft, but together they make 248 hp and 310 lb-ft. Unlike a pure EV, a plug-in hybrid’s is expected to allow quiet, smooth urban driving without giving up the traditional power reserve of the “old-fashioned gas-fueled cars.

Driving Impressions

 

During our one-week testing period, we drove BMW’s executive sedan and observed its different moods. Honestly, I always felt some kind of fragility whenever the electric motor moved the car silently and at perfectly useful rates of acceleration for normal driving as if the vehicle would switch to gas at any moment. Possibly a wrong perception. I also knew BMW lets you choose how you use that electric power. From other BMW vehicles I used to drive in the last seven years or so, I am familiar with comfort, sport, and eco pro drive modes. On top of these settings, the Bavarian plug-in hybrid has an additional e-drive selector that toggles through three additional settings dubbed e-drive, max e-drive and battery control. The first two prioritize battery-powered driving to different degrees, while the third lets you command the car to keep the battery charged to a level of your choosing. I occasionally used battery control to run the engine in highway driving between Toronto and Burlington, where it’s most efficient, and the other two settings in stop-and-go city situations. On a very snowy Saturday in February, also the 403 turned to a crowded urban boulevard and the electric features of the powertrain came to play. It smoothly switch from electric to hybrid and to gas and after a while you get used to these transitions. Whatever mode you are in, this big sports sedan has a superior roadholding and communication with the surface, even better than the traditional gas-engined models due to additional weight of 300 kg and conveniently located battery pack under the rear seat. The loss of cargo space compared to to gas-only version is immaterial. On the downside, this additional weight remains with you no matter in which mode you drive and it makes a negative difference during acceleration and cruising.

BMW 530e xDrive demonstrates the capabilities of the German car maker to apply the transitional hybrid technology with all its fine details (multi-mode features) to a sports sedan which is also one of the most prestigious executive-class cars. Still, A loyal BMW buyer would ask the following question at any time: “Why not buying a traditional Bimmer for sporty driving pleasure and keep a green Tesla for environmentally nasty days in the garage?”

Conclusion

 

The price difference compared to gas-only 530e is $4,500. The 530e has 45 kilometers of electric only range. It will cost you 100 dollars for every kilometer of green range. Will you save the planet?

Specifications:

Model: 2018 BMW 530e xDrive Coupe

Paint Type: Mediterranean Blue Metallic
Base /as tested MSRP: $67,500 /$83,350

Optional Equipment:

Premium Package Enhanced ($6,500) includes:

  • Automatic Trunk
  • Universal Remote Control
  • Comfort Access
  • Soft Close Doors
  • Side and Rear Sunshades
  • Through Loading System
  • Seat Heating, Front and Rear
  • Ceramic Controls
  • Adaptive LED Headlights
  • High-Beam Asisstant
  • Sirius XM Satellite Radio Tuner
  • Harmann-Kardon Sound system
  • BMW ConnectedDrive Services Professional

Driving Assistance Package ($1,900)

  • Driving Assistance plus includes Active Cruise with Stop and Go
  • Steering and Lane control, Lane Keep Assistant Plus, Cross-Traffic Alert (Front) and Evasion Assistance ($1,000)
  • Parking Assistant Plus w/Surround View
  • Cross-Traffic Alert (Rear)
  • Collision Warning w/ City Braking
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Blind Spot Warning
  • Rear Collision Prevention
  • Speed Limit Info
  • 360 Surround View w/3D View

Interior Comfort Package ($2,500)

  • Ventilated Seats
  • Comfort Seats, Front
  • Leatherette Dashboard
  • BMW Individual Reading Lights
  • Massage Function for Driver and Passenger

Smartphone Connectivity Package ($750)

  • Apple CarPlay Preparation
  • Wireless Charging w/Extended Bluetooth and USB
  • WiFi Hotspot

Stand Alone Options:

  • Nappa Leather ($1,500)
  • Dynamic Damper Control ($1,200)
  • Steptronic Transmission with gearshift paddles ($500)

Article: Varol McKars

Test Drivers: Varol McKars, Basak Mc Kars, Burak McKars, Dokan Gunay

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by BMW Group Canada

For the most up-to-date and more detailed information, visit:

http://www.bmw.ca

 

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